March 24, (THEWILL) – The Presidential Election Petition Court, (PEPC) sitting in the Court of Appeal, Abuja, on Friday, ordered that Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President-elect, be served with copies of petitions seeking to nullify his election.
The ruling followed separate ex-parte applications that were brought before the court by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and his counterpart in the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi.
Both Atiku and Obi had accused Tinubu of deliberately avoiding the service of their petitions on him. They told the court that several attempts they made to effect service of the petitions on Tinubu, proved abortive.
According to the petitioners, the President-elect deliberately made himself unavailable with a view to frustrating their effort to hand him copies of the petition as required by the law.
Consequently, relying on Section 6(6a) and 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, Section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act, as well as Paragraph 8 of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act 2022, the petitioners sought the intervention of the Court.
Both Atiku and Obi further supported their ex-parte motions dated March 23, with affidavits of urgency and non-service, even as they persuaded the court to hear the applications, outside the pre-hearing session of their substantive petitions.
While Atiku’s application was moved on Friday, by his legal team led by Mr Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), that of Obi and LP was moved by Mr. Ikechukwu Ezechukwu (SAN).
However, in a ruling on Friday, a three-man panel of the court led by Justice Joseph Ikyegh, directed that the petitions should be served on Tinubu, through his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Having heard the applications by counsel to the petitioners including the affidavit in support, the applications are hereby granted,” the court ruled.
The panel equally granted leave to the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), to also serve its own petition on Tinubu, via substituted means.
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