By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) sitting in Abuja, has dismissed the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) petition challenging the conduct of the February 23 presidential election that produced President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner.
The dismissal is following the dramatic withdrawal of the petition by the party’s presidential candidate, Pastor Aminchi Habu and his party.
The petitioner was at the tribunal, on alleged predicated unlawful exclusion of the party from participating in the election despite his nomination and clearance for the election.
The hearing of the petitioned scheduled for yesterday, was however stalled, when counsel to the petitioner, Aliyu Lemu, dramatically announced that he was withdrawing the petition filed against Buhari.
They hinged their reasons for withdrawer on the need to prevent Buhari from incurring expenses to defend himself in the petition.
They further submitted that there is need to make Buhari concentrate on the act of governance, adding that he has found an alternative means of seeking redress in his complaint against Buhari’s election
Responding, counsel to Buhari, Yusuf Ali SAN, All Progressive Congress Counsel Funke Adekoya and that of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Yunus Usman SAN did not object to the withdrawal of the petition.
Consequently, Tribunal chairman, Mohammed Garba, in a brief ruling granted the application and dismissed the petition.
The tribunal had last week adjourned to today, Wednesday, July 24, for commencement of hearing in the PDM’s petition after dismissing a similar application filed and argued last week by the PDM’s National Chairman, Frank Igwebuike who sought to remove the PDM’s name from the petition of the Presidential Candidate
Habu and his party, PDM had in their petition number CA/PEPT/ 04/2019 filed on March 19, 2019 are seeking the nullification of the February 23 presidential poll on grounds that they were excluded from participating in the election.
They specifically alleged that the party logo was not included in the Ballot Paper used for the presidential election as required by law despite their lawful nomination and clearance by the electoral body to participate in the poll.
Meantime, petition pending at the tribunal challenging the emergence of President Buhari’s re- election remains two.