The expected and awaited judgement from the presidential election petitions tribunal has reportedly put the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and President Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) camp on edge.
In a recent press statement, the PDP says the country is anxiously waiting for the judiciary to do the right thing because they have proven their case. It said the judiciary is the last hope of the masses and hence, the need to address the substance of the petition by Atiku.
Parties to the dispute over the February 23 presidential election won by President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are to know their fate this week, The Nation learnt on Sunday.
The Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPC) must give judgment in the suits instituted by the parties not later than September 14, as provided in Section 134 (1) to (3) of the Electoral Act, the petitions having been filed on March 18.
Apart from Buhari and the APC, other litigants are the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar. They are challenging Buhari’s victory.
Although the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) has up to September 14, 2018 as provided in Section Section 134 (1) to (3) of the Electoral Act, the petition having been filed on March 18, 2019, the verdict may be delivered on Friday, September 14 being Saturday.
A reliable source told The Nation: “We are aware that the court is working towards September 13, 2019 for the judgment.
“You know they (the court) have up to September 14, by virtue of the provision of the Electoral Act, the petition having been filed on March 18 this year.
“So, we are comfortable with the date, because it is still within time. It will afford the petitioners the time to work on their appeal.”
The PEPC, sitting in Abuja, last sat on August 21, 2019 and adjourned for judgment after entertaining final submissions from lawyers to parties.
Presiding Justice Mohammed Garba, announced, while adjourning proceedings on August 21, that parties would be notified when the court decides on a date for judgment.
However, while making their final submissions on August 21, Buhari and the APC, the Independent National electoral Commission (INEC), who are respondents to the petition, noted that the petitioners failed to disprove the claim that Atiku is not a Nigerian by birth and as such was not qualified to contest the election.
Buhari, APC and INEC described the petition by Atiku and the PDP, challenging the outcome of the election as worthless and time-wasting. They noted that the petitioner, in prosecuting the petition, starved it of necessary evidence and urged the court to dismiss it with substantial cost.
Newsflash247 had earlier reported that the tribunal would deliver judgement not later than 13th of September, 2019. According to reports, the initial date of September 15 set by the tribunal was no longer realistic because it is a Sunday.