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Atiku Files Fresh Application

Posted by By Collins Edomaruse and Nosike Ogbuenyi, 05.14.2007 on 2007/05/14 | Views: 997 |

Atiku Files Fresh Application


Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of Alliance for Democracy (AC) will today file a fresh motion at the Court of Appeal, Abuja following the rejection, last week, of his application for an order compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to produce enabling documents to prosecute his case on the April 21 presidential election.

Seeks to compel INEC to release documents

Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of Alliance for Democracy (AC) will today file a fresh motion at the Court of Appeal, Abuja following the rejection, last week, of his application for an order compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to produce enabling documents to prosecute his case on the April 21 presidential election.

The court had last week turned down the motions of both the AC and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and their candidates Atiku and Major-General Muhamadu Buhari (rtd.), on the ground that the prayers of the legal teams of both parties were not in agreement with the rules of the tribunal.

The court said the applications were rejected on the ground that neither of the applicants has filed substantive petition before the court.

The applications were respectively seeking order of the Tribunal directing INEC and all the Resident Electoral Commissioners in the 36 states to produce certain electoral documents for their inspection and reproduction.

Speaking to THISDAY last night, Media Consultant to the vice president, Mallam Garuba Shehu, said Atiku's legal team was heading back to the court today to represent the same motion to the court following the resolution of the disagreement arising from the grey areas on the motion earlier spotted by the Tribunal.

He also said he was optimistic that the Tribunal will equally begin the hearing of the case today, "because time is of essence following the requirement of the Electoral Law which gives 30 days ceiling for applications on the presidential election to be filed at the Court of Appeal," he added.

It will be recalled that lawyers to the applicants who had gone to the Tribunal last week with several copies of the applications for endorsement, were told to file the applications along with the substantive petitions.

The Deputy Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, Mrs. Rita Enuinam, confirmed the rejection of the applications during an interview with journalists.

Enuinam said that the court could not accept the application because there was no substantive petition filed by the applicants before it.

The applications were prepared on behalf of the petitioners by 11 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) led by Professor Ben Nwabueze.

The application, according to them, was brought in line with Section 159 of the Electoral Act 2006, for the purpose of instituting and maintaining election petition against the results of April 21 presidential elections.

The electoral documents they were asking the court to order INEC to produce for inspection included, Form EC8A, EC8B, EC8D, EC8E and specimen copies of the ballot papers used in the polls.

Copies of the Form EC25 (Electoral Materials Receipt) and EC40C (Ballot Paper Account and verification statement) used to dispatch ballot papers and elections results in each of the 36 States were requested.

List of Ad-hoc staff engaged in the conduct of the election in each of the 36 States and copies of voters's register used at the polling stations in all the 36 States.

A seven paragraph affidavit deposed to by the Director of Legal Services of Atiku Campaign Organisation, Mr. Oumar Shittien and a written submission in support of the application were attached to the Motion.

The deponent said that the applicants were dissatisfied with the results of the elections and have decided to challenge it and declaration of PDP candidate, Alhaji Umar Yar'Adua as the winner of the elections.

The grounds of their proposed petitions include, among others, wrongful exclusion of Atiku as a candidate for the election and compliance with the Electoral Act 2006.

Electoral malpractices, rigging, multiple voting, snatching of ballot boxes and papers, stuffing of ballot boxes and violence in polling units were also listed as parts of the grounds of the proposed petition.

In a related development, lead counsel of the ANPP presidential candidate, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), Chief Mike Ahamba (SAN) yesterday stated that they were hopeful of securing an order of the Appeal Court today compelling the INEC to avail them the opportunity of inspecting and verifying some vital electoral materials such as ballot papers used during the disputed April 21 presidential election.

According to Ahamba, what the Buhari legal team did last Friday was to apply to the court for the order. "We applied for the order on Friday and tomorrow (today) we will be going back to the court hoping to secure the order," he told THISDAY last night.

The senior advocate said there was no doubt that the ANPP presidential flagbearer would be filing a petition. Asked whether he was aware of moves by some prominent northern elders and traditional rulers to persuade Buhari and Atiku to drop their petitions against the Peoples Democratic Party candidate and president-elect, Governor Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, Ahamba denied knowledge of any such move.

"I am not aware of any move to settle out of court. But even if such a move is made, it will not be unusual or unnatural. But we have no instruction on that as I'm speaking," he stated yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Tribunal has confirmed receipt of a petition filed by National Action Council and its presidential candidate, Dr. Olapade Agoro.

The registrar said that it is the only petition that the court has received but no date has been fixed for its hearing.

The petition numbered CA-A-EP-1-2007, is asking the court to declare the presidential elections null and void.


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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown