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Published On: Wed, Jun 19th, 2019

Feb 23 Presidential Poll Unconstitutional, HDP Tells Tribunal

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*Asks tribunal to nullify Buhari’s election

Vivian Okejeme Abuja

Hope Democratic Party (HDP), has told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) that the February 23 presidential election which produced President Muhammadu Buhari, for a second term in office is unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.
The Party, has in a fresh motion before the tribunal, insisted that the presidential poll is unknown to law and should be invalidated by the tribunal.
In their argument, the party and its presidential candidate, Chief Ambrose Owuru, posited that the postponement of the election from February 16 to 23 had no backing of any law as no cogent and verifiable reason required by law were advanced for the postponement.
Specifically, the HDP, in the motion filed by its lawyer, Ezechukwu Kennedy Ifeanyi, insisted that the February 23 poll was never validly held by INEC and cannot produce any valid result or returns recognizable by law.
Although the party admitted that the electoral body has powers under section 26 of the Electoral Act 2010, it however maintained that no cogent and verifiable reason were produced by INEC to postpone the February 16 election and thereby rendered the February 23 election a nullity under the same law.
HDP which cited several authorities to buttress its averment said that since INEC breached the provisions of the Electoral Act especially section 26 to conduct the February 23 poll, the purported election cannot stand in the eyes of the law.
The party therefore prayed for an order compelling INEC to produce at the tribunal notice of election, original time-table for February 16, the press statement of February 16 as well as minutes of meeting where the decision to postpone the February 16, presidential was held.
They also prayed that the return of President Buhari for a second term in office on account of February 23 election be invalidated and set aside because the election has no force of law.
The party and its presidential candidate had earlier filed a petition marked: CA/PETP/001/2019 asking the tribunal to nullify the election that brought Buhari to office.
The petitioners also argued that they were validly nominated for the 2019 general elections but were unlawfully excluded from the said elections by INEC by delisting their names and party logo from the ballot papers.
They also submitted that the electoral body placed a false version of their registered party logo on the ballot papers for elections and thereby cost them the chances of realizing their political ambition in the 2019 general elections.

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