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Published On: Fri, Oct 4th, 2019

Presidential tribunal: S/Court strikes out HDP’s suit against Buhari’s election

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By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja

The Supreme Court yesterday, struck out the appeal filed by the presidential candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP), Chief Ambrose Albert Owuru.
The appellant is before the court seeking nullification of declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of February 23 presidential election.
The five- man panel of justices led by Justice Mary Odili, struck out the appeal for being unmeritorious and for constituting an abuse of court process.
The court held that Owuru and his party engaged in gross abuse of court processes by filing two notices of appeal in one matter contrary to the provisions of the law.
Owuru and HDP had challenged the decision of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which on August 22 dismissed their petition for want of competence.
It held that failure of the appellants to appeal the August 22 ruling of the tribunal, which had struck out their petition for being incompetent was fatal to their appeal.
The Apex court, in the unanimous decision, upheld the objection raised by the three respondents in the suit and subsequently dismissed the appeal.
The three respondents are President Buhari. Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Justice Odili upheld the argument of Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN that the two appellants embarked on a journey aimed at misdirecting the court by filing two notices of appeal and simultaneously using the two notices to formulate grounds of appeal, contrary to the provisions of the law.
The court also agreed with Fagbemi that in view of the preliminary objections of the three respondents, the HDP’s appeal has nothing to stand upon and consequently struck out the appeal.
The respondents counsel, counsel to Buhari, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, INEC Yunus Usman SAN, and the All APC Lateef Fagbemi SAN had in separate preliminary objections asked the apex court to strike out the appeal on the grounds that the appellants contravened the law by filing two notices of appeal in one matter.

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