The Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting in Abuja, today May 23, consolidated the three different petitions that are seeking to upturn the declaration of Bola Tinubu of the APC as the winner of the February 25, 2023 presidential election.
A five-member panel of the court led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, in a unanimous decision, dismissed objections the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, raised against the merger of the petitions.
The court held that Justice of the cases demanded that they should be consolidated and dealt with as one petition since they all relate to the same election.
The court then scheduled May 30 for the candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Peter Obi, to open his case against the outcome of the presidential election held on February 25.
Obi initially told the tribunal that he would need seven weeks to present his case through 50 witnesses. Ruling on his application, the court reduced the period to three weeks, even as it gave the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Tinubu and the Vice President-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima, five days each to defend the petition. In the same vein, the court gave the 4th respondent in the case, Kabiru Masari, three days to also defend himself.
The court stressed that the parties would adopt final briefs of argument on August 5 to enable it to fix a date for judgment.
Aside from Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who came second in the election, and Obi of the LP who came third in the election, the Allied Peoples Movement, APM, equally lodged a petition to challenge the outcome of the presidential election.
Though five petitions were initially filed to challenge the return of Tinubu as the winner of the election, however, the Action Alliance, AA, on May 8, withdrew its case, even as the Action Peoples Party, APP, followed suit two days later by also discontinuing further proceedings on its own petition