The Supreme Court has stood down hearing in the appeal filed by Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
The seven-man panel of the apex court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Mohammed, made the decision to stand down the proceedings to allow Dr. Levy Uzokwu (SAN), Atiku’s counsel, to reach a decision on the procedure of the hearing.
The panel’s stand was that the judgment in the main appeal (with appeal number 1211) should abide on all the other appeals. This means that there will only be one judgment which will be in the main appeal and it will cover all the others.
Counsel for President Muhammadu Buhari, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC): Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Ustaz Yinusa (SAN) and Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), have agreed to this stand. However, Atiku’s counsel is urging the panel to allow them to also adopt process in the other appeals (seven in total).
The major crux of the other appeals was that the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal struck out some paragraphs in their (Atiku and PDP) main petition, which they said was detrimental to their case at the tribunal.
The CJN told Uzokwu, “If you want time to make up your mind, we will give you time. We don’t want you to go and write a petition against us later that we are the one that pushed you to make a decision.” Uzokwu however said he has never written any petition before, to which the CJN replied that some 20 years ago while at the Court of Appeal, another counsel wrote a petition on this issue.
By Clement A. Oloyede
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