Buhari made the prayer through his Counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, in a motion adopted and argued on Tuesday before Justice Mohammed Garba-led five-man panel in Abuja.
Olanipekun submitted that the petition was fundamentally defective, adding that his client won the presidential “square and clear’’.
He explained that the allegations advanced by the petitioners were mere theoretical assumptions that could not stand the test of critical legal debate.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tribunal also entertained the president’s motion that sought to effect amendment on the identities and addresses of counsel representing him.
Another of Buhari’s application seeking to mandate the tribunal to entertain all interlocutory motions before the commencement of proper hearing of the main petition was also adopted and argued.
Similarly, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition brought by PDP and Atiku against a “flawless’’ election that won by Buhari.
Mr Yunus Usman, SAN, Counsel for INEC said that the electoral commission would standby the declaration of the second respondent (Buhari) as winner of the Fbe.23 presidential election.
Usman said the petition challenging the outcome of the exercise was “misguided’’, adding that the allegations of fraud made against the electoral body was “mischievous’’.
NAN reports that INEC’s application is challenging the jurisdiction and competence of the tribunal to entertain the petition.
Usman further urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition as the petitioners failed to include the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as a co-winner in the election.
“ The failure of the PDP and Atiku to include Osinbajo’s name as party should not be overlooked because whatever affects the president affects his running mate,’’ Usman said.
NAN also reports that three other interlocutory motions filed by the All Progressive Congress were argued and dispensed with.
Chief Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, Counsel for the APC had urged the tribunal to strike out 18 paragraphs of the petition with frivolous assumptions among other prayers.
He submitted that the competence of the petition was questionable, adding that it would soon become a mere “lame duck’’.
Meanwhile, Dr Levi Uzoukwu, SAN, Counsel for the petitioners prayed the tribunal to discountenance all the arguments canvassed by the respondents, describing INEC’s position in the matter as “unusual”.
The presiding judge, therefore, fixed June 13 for the petitioners’ motions to be heard.
Nyako vs EFCC: What happened in court on Wednesday
Maikyau made the oral application, on Wednesday, before Justice Okon Abang.
Nyako is the 1st defendant, his son, Sen. Abdulaziz Nyako, is the 2nd defendant while Zulkifik Abba is the 3rd defendant in the case.
The EFCC had charged the former governor, along with others, with N40 billion fraud.
They were arraigned on a 37-count charge bordering on money laundering allegedly perpetrated while Nyako was Adamawa governor.
Also arraigned along with them was Abubakar Aliyu and firms allegedly used to perpetrate the fraud which were joined as the 5th to the 9th defendants were Blue Opal Ltd, Pagoda Fortunes Ltd, Tower Assets Management Ltd and Crust Energy Ltd.
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, had indicated his interest to close his case, having taken the evidence of Kobis Arithimni, who was Secretary to Adamawa State Government during Nyako’s administration, via video link in the last sitting.
DAILY POST reports that Justice Abang had, on Oct. 30, granted EFCC’s prayer to take Arithimni via video link.
Arithimni, who presently resides in the United Kingdom (UK), gave his testimony on Nov. 5.
However, Maikyau, who opposed to the closure of the case, on Wednesday, told the court that since the prosecution was unable to call all its witnesses on its list, the prosecution is under obligation, upon request by the defendant, to present such witnesses for purpose of cross examination by the defence.
“I stand to make the application on behalf of the 3rd defendant that the prosecution be directed by this honourable court to make available witnesses number 12, 26 and 27,” NAN quoted him as saying.
The lawyer, who noted that these witnesses were yet to be called by the EFCC, said the call became necessary in the spirit of fair hearing.
He acknowledged that though the prosecution is not bound to call all the witnesses listed by it, Maikyau said the 3rd defendant wanted to take advantage of the principle of law that has been made available to the defence which is only consistent to the principle of fair hearing.
Counsel to the EFCC, Mr Jacobs, who opposed the oral application, sought for more time to respond to the prayer and the earlier request by the 2nd defendant, Abdulaziz Nyako, to travel abroad.
Justice Abang adjourned until Nov. 19 to hear the prosecution’s reply.
AGF reveals implication of cancelling recruitment of 10,00 police constables
Malami, in a counter-affidavit filed by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata, SAN, opposed the suit instituted by the PSC to challenge the proprietary of the constables’ recruitment process by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
He told Justice Inyang Ekwo that cancelling the process which he said had gone through “significant stages,” as requested by the commission, would amount to an economic loss for the country.
Meanwhile, DAILY POST reports that the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, adjourned till Nov. 20 for the Police Service Commission (PSC) to respond to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF)’s counter-affidavit in a suit to stop the recruitment of 10, 000 police officers.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, who adjourned the case on the instance of the PSC, said the development was to allow its counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, to respond to the counter-affidavit.
Justice Ekwo, therefore, adjourned till Nov. 20 for the continuation of the matter.
PSC had taken the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to court over the recruitment of 10,000 constables.
Appeal Court affirms Udom Emmanuel as Akwa Ibom governor, fines Nsima Ekere
The tribunal had held that the petitioner could not lead credible evidence to prove his claims that the elections were not conducted in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act.
Delivering judgement in the Appeal filed by Mr Nsima Ekere, the Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the re-election of His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel in the March 9, 2019 Gubernatorial Elections, the five-man panel gave her judgement on all the issues set out by parties in the appeal.
The Appellate Court first affirmed the decision of the tribunal rejecting series of documents filed by the Petitioner at the tribunal and held that the reasoning of the tribunal were unassailable,vciting that the documents which were all public documents could not be admissible if they were not properly brought as Certified True Copies of the public documents sought to be tendered.
Furthermore, on whether the tribunal was right in holding that the Petitioner/Appellant did not lead credible evidence to prove their case, the Court of Appeal affirmed the tribunal’s judgement and upheld the tribunal’s findings on evidence.
The Appellate Court noted that out of the results of twenty one (21) Local Government Areas challenged, the Petitioner did not lead any evidence to prove their case in eight (8) and led very scanty evidence which on cross examination were rendered very impotent in the other Local Governments where they made any effort to prove their claims. The court again held that the decision of the tribunal was unassailable on that score and therefore affirmed same.
The court also agreed with the Lower Tribunal for not relying on documents dumped on the tribunal by the Petitioners/Appellants without being linked by them to any of the issues raised and canvassed by the petitioner. The court thereupon affirmed the victory of His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State from the Gubernatorial elections held on March 9, 2019, and awarded the cost of 500,000 naira in favour of the First Respondent to be paid by the Appellants. The lead judgement was affirmed by all the other justices of the Court of Appeal.
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