The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) has dismissed the petition by the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and its candidate, Ambrose Owuru against the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the last presidential election.
In a ruling on Thursday, a five-man penal of the court upheld the preliminary objection filed by Buhari (listed as the first respondent) against the competence of the petition.
The court held that not only did it lacked jurisdiction to hear the petition, because it talked about referendum, the prayers in the petition are similar to what the petitioners sought in their pending cases before the Federal High Court on the same issues.
Justice Mohammed Garba, who is reading the lead judgment, held that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the petition and that it constitutes an abuse of court process.
He proceeded to dismiss it, a position other members of the panel agreed with.
The petitioners had sought to be pronounced the winners of the election on the grounds that they won a referendum, which they claimed was conducted when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the conduct of the presidential election.
The court, in another ruling, also refused the preliminary objection filed by the 2nd respondent, INEC) against the competence of the petition.
INEC had claimed that the petitioners did not comply with the requirement of the law in issuing the requisite pre-hearing notice in the petition.
The court is currently delivering another ruling in a motion in which the applicant seeks the dismissal of the petition on the grounds that Buhari’s running mate in the election, Prof Yemi Osinbajo was excluded as a party in the petition.
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