Presidential Election Tribunal To Start Hearing May 8

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The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) has slated Monday, May 8, for the hearing of the petitions challenging the declaration of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the President-elect.

This means the legal battle by candidates disputing the announced results would resume on that date.

According to Tinubu’s legal team, Monday’s hearing is a pre-hearing session. The hearing was set aside to cross-check if there are any applications before the main hearing will start. The timetable for the hearing of substantive matters will be set after the pre-hearing.

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, on March 1, declared Mr Tinubu the president-elect after his party scored the highest number of votes in the February 25th polls.

He had polled 8.8 million votes to defeat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 6.9 million, Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) who amassed 6.1 million, and 15 others.

Messrs Atiku and Obi have both disputed the results and filed separate petitions seeking orders to annul the election or declare them the winners of the polls.

Mr Atiku urged the court to cancel the election and order a fresh election due to alleged irregularities that marred the February 25 polls in thousands of polling units.

Mr Atiku and the PDP argued that as of March 1, when Mr Tinubu was declared the winner of the election, the entire results and accreditation data from polling units had not been transmitted and uploaded by INEC.

Peter Obi, in his petition, argued that the election was characterised by various irregularities, including the non-qualification of Mr Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, to contest the election.

He also alleged that Mr Tinubu failed to win a majority of lawful votes and also one-quarter of lawful votes cast in the FCT.

The tribunal stopped receiving replies from the petitioners on April 23.

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