Presidential poll: Tribunal dismisses PDM petition against Buhari

The Presidential Election Petitions tribunal  on Wednesday dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Movement and its candidate, Pastor Aminchi Habu, challenging Muhammadu Buhari’s victory  in the February 23 presidential  poll.

This followed an application by  lawyer for the petitioners, Aliyu Lemu, for the withdrawal of the petition.

Lemu informed the five-man  tribunal, headed by Justice Mohammed Garba,   that his clients  instructed  him  to withdraw the petition.

The development came barely a week after the tribunal asked the petitioners to open their case by tendering their exhibits and calling their witnesses on Wednesday.

The respondents are the Independent National Electoral Commission, Buhari and  the All  Progressives Congress.

 Yunus Usman  (SAN) is lawyer for  INEC, Yusuf Ali (SAN) stands for Buhari  while Funke Adekoya (SAN) is the APC’s representative.

However, the trio  did not oppose the application for the withdrawal of the petition.

In a  unanimous ruling of the tribunal, Justice Garba  said, “We find it expedient to grant this application as prayed.

“It is granted. And leave is granted to the petitioners to withdraw this petition from the court.”

The tribunal went on to dismiss the petition.

The petitioners  had  sought the nullification of the presidential  poll  on the grounds that they were wrongfully excluded from the exercise  by  INEC.

 Habu  said  he agreed with his party’s decision to withdraw the petition because  “we have found other alternative ways of seeking redress for the complaints alleged in our petition”.

He  added, “It will be best to withdraw our petition in the circumstance to decongest the docket of this honourable court and save precious judicial time and to prevent the respondents from any unnecessary expense of defending this petition.”

tribunal  challenging Buhari’s victory  have been reduced to two.

The remaining petitions are the ones filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and  Hope Democratic Party.

The withdrawal of the PDM’s petition came barely a week after Habu opposed the move by the National Chairman of the PDM, Chief Frank Igwebuike, to withdraw the party from the petition.

Habu’s opposition to  the  move was upheld by the tribunal, which dismissed the application for the withdrawal in a ruling delivered on July 18.
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