The waiting game may soon be over as the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has fixed Wednesday September 11(tomorrow) to deliver its judgment regarding the case between Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party and President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress.
The outcome of the petition by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is the most anticipated amongst several legal cases arising from the February 23 election.
“Presidential election petition tribunal: Please be informed. Notice has been given for judgement to be delivered tomorrow, September 11,” Sa’adatu Kachalla, spokesperson for the Court of Appeal, said on Tuesday.
The presidential election petition is handled by the Court of Appeal, and a further appeal can be heard by the Supreme Court.
In his submission, INEC lead counsel, Yunus Ustaz Usman (SAN) said the Commission conducted the February 23 election in “total compliance with the Electoral Act and the petitioners can never dislodge that”.
He, therefore, asked the panel “to dismiss the petition which was meant to test the river with both legs”.
Also, lead counsel to Buhari, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition for lacking in evidence, adding that Section 131 of the Nigerian Constitution did not demand certificate to be attached to the documents.
Counsel to the APC, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) said the PDP and Atiku, who alleged electoral irregularities in 119,973 polling units in 8,809 wards in 774 LGs, called only 62 witnesses out of which only five led evidence from the polling units.
However, lead counsel to the PDP and Atiku, Levy Uzoukwu (SAN), asked the tribunal to hold that Section 138(1) of Electoral Act, any candidate who submitted false information would nullify their candidacy.
He added that by the judgment of the Supreme Court in Abdulrauf Moddibbo against Mustapha Usman SC/790/2019 delivered on 30 July, qualifications for election is not a pre-election matter.
He argued that Buhari in his Form CF001submitted to INEC listed three certificates such as First School Leaving Certificate, WAEC, and Cadet certificate from Military School but failed to attach them to the