seek nullification of his election, allege irregularities By Ikechukwu Nnochiri ABUJA – It is more trouble for President Muhammadu Buhari, as three more presidential candidates have separately approached the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, asking it to void the outcome of the February 23 presidential election.
Aisha Buhari voting at the Governorship and State Assembly Elections at Kofar Baru Polling Unit 003 in Daura Katsina State on 9th Mar 2019 In their various petitions, the three presidential candidates, urged the tribunal to invoke its powers and quash the declaration of President Buhari as the bonafide winner of the 2019 presidential election. The petitioners separately alleged that the election was characterized by manifest irregularities, adding that the Electoral Act was not substantially complied with by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Those asking the tribunal to sack President Buhari and order a fresh election, are the Presidential candidate of the Hope Democratic Party, HDP, Chief Ambrose Owuru, whose petition marked as CA/ PEPC/001/2019, also cited the All Progressives Congress, APC and the INEC as Respondents. Owuru secured a total of 1,663 in the presidential election.
In another petition that was registered as CA/PEPC/004/2019, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, Pastor Aminchi Habu, equally challenged the outcome of the presidential poll. Similarly, in its own petition marked CA/PEPC/003/2019, the Coalition For Change, C4C and its presidential candidate, Geff Chizee Ojinka, also urged the tribunal to nullify President Buhari’s election. Remarkably, unlike in all the other petitions, the C4C, which garnered a total of 2,391 votes at the presidential poll, cited the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as the 2nd Respondent in its case. It told the tribunal that its candidate, Ojinka, was validly nominated to participate in the February 23 election in order to secure votes to occupy the presidential seat.
“Petitioners contend that the above election was vitiated by substantial non compliance with mandatory statutory provisions, which irregularity substantially affected the election such that the 1st Respondent was not entitled to be returned as the Winner of the Presidential election”, the party added. The Justice Abdul Aboki led tribunal had on Wednesday, ordered that President Buhari should be served with a copy of the the petition marked as CA/ PEPC/002/2019, which was filed by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
The tribunal directed that Buhari should be served with all the legal processes, through any senior officer at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja. Atiku and the PDP had applied to be allowed to serve the petition on Buhari via substituted means, decrying that retinue of security operatives at the Presidential Villa, made it impossible for them to effect personal service of the processes on him.