Justice Mohammed Garba, Chairman of the five-man panel, reserved the application after it was argued by counsel to the parties.
A National Chairman of Hope Democratic Party (HDP), Tapre Poland had approached the tribunal with the application.
The tribunal also reserved its ruling on another application filed by Poland, praying for the substitution of counsel representing the party.
Mr Anthony Agbolahan, counsel for Poland, had adopted and argued the written addresses of the applicant.
The applicant prayed the tribunal to grant the two applications, adding that HDP was no longer interested in contesting the victory of the president in the Feb. 23 general election.
Tapre, a member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, assumed the position after the substantive National Chairman, Chief Ambrose Owuru, was suspended by the party.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Owuru, who contested the presidential election on the platform of HDP, is challenging Buhari’s victory in the election.
Mr Chukwunoyerem Njoku, Counsel for both HDP and Owuru, prayed the tribunal to discountenance the two applications, describing the applicant as an “interloper’’.
Njoku also argued that the applicant had no locus to file for the withdrawal of HDP, adding that he had no official power to do so.
Njoku said Poland was neither the National Chairman of the Party nor contested the Feb. 23 presidential election on the platform of HDP.
He further explained that only the National Working Committee (NEC), chaired by Owuru, who remained the National Chairman of HDP could decide whether or not to press on with the case.
Njoku, therefore, prayed the tribunal to disregard the application by dismissing same.
Justice Garba had earlier granted the petitioners leave to effect typographical corrections in their main petition but however declined additional prayers to file additional list of witnesses.
The chairman of the panel held that the 21 days allowed by law for the filing of a petition that should contain all list of witnesses and other documentary evidence had since lapsed.
Meanwhile, the tribunal adjourned until June 27 to entertain an application filed by INEC seeking the setting aside of the alleged “referendum’’ the petitioners were relying on to have won the presidential election.
Boko Haram Kills Aid Worker In Borno, Three Others Missing
Boko Haram militants have killed a member of the Action Against Hunger, Grace Taku, as well as a driver while three health workers are missing.
The incident happened when a convoy of the aid agency was heading to Damasak in Borno State.
The attack is coming a day after an army commander, colonel and some soldiers were ambushed in Yobe State by Boko Haram terrorists.
A statement by Action Against Hunger reads, “One of the drivers was killed, while one Action Against Hunger staff member, two of the drivers and three health workers are missing.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident as these are colleagues dedicated to providing life-saving assistance to individuals and families affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the northeast of Nigeria. We are very concerned and want to ensure that they are safe and can be reunited with their families.
“Action Against Hunger strives to ensure that millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance in northeast Nigeria receive the essential services required for their survival, especially women and children.”
Nigerian Passport Scam: EFCC Arrests Immigration Officer, 14 Others
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Lagos Zonal office, has arrested a Nigeria Immigration Service officer, Mr Adebimpe Kehinde, for his alleged involvement in passport racketeering.
Mr Tony Orilade, EFCC acting spokesperson, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday. Orilade said that Mr Kehinde is an immigration assistant.
According to Orilade, Kehinde was arrested alongside 14 other suspected passport racketeers following intelligence reports received by the commission.
The suspects are Nnadika Timothy, Oyeyiga Samuel, Sunday Adekunle, Lola Kadoso, Adebayo Damilola, Adeola Oluwafikayomi Ajiboshin, Abubakri Adebayo.
Others are Uka Ifeanyi, Raph Emeka Ibuaku, Henry Onyebuchi, Christy Odey, Aba-Peter Blessing, Ogunmefun Oluwanishola and Busayo Balogun.
Orilade stated that the suspects conspired to extort money from unsuspecting members of the public applying for international passports.
According to him, items recovered from the suspects at the point of arrest include five laptops, mobile telephones and “official documents”.
“They will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded,” he stated.
Atiku Gets 55 Cartons Of Documents From INEC As He Closes His Case Today
Ahead of Friday’s sitting, the Independent National Electoral Commission has produced the documents which the presidential election petitions tribunal, in Abuja called for on Wednesday at the instance of the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The documents which were packed in 55 cartons would be the last to be presented to the tribunal as the petitioners are expected to close their case on Friday.
However, only 58 out of its proposed 400 witnesses had been called as of Wednesday which happened to be the ninth of the ten days given to the petitioners by the tribunal to present their case.
The petitioners are, by their petition, challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress at the February 23 poll.
The tribunal of five judges led by Justice Mohammed Garba had on Wednesday ordered INEC to produce the documents by noon on Thursday.
This followed the complaints by the petitioners that the subpoenas issued and served on INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, and the commission’s resident electoral commissioner in Zamfara State to produce the documents had not been complied with.
The tribunal had on Wednesday adjourned the case until Friday, but the counsel to the PDP and Atiku, Chris Uche (SAN), attended the Thursday’s proceedings scheduled for hearing in respect of other petitions filed by the Hope Democratic Party and the Peoples Democratic Movement.
Uche said his presence in court was to ensure INEC’s compliance with the Wednesday’s order of the tribunal.
At about the time the five-man panel was to recede to chambers to write a ruling in respect of PDM’s petition, Uche informed the bench of his intention in court on Thursday.
In reaction, Justice Garba asked for update from INEC’s lawyer, Yunus Usman (SAN).
Replying, Usman informed the tribunal that the “documents had been substantially produced.
“It is a very tedious task, but we have to obey the court’s order,” he stated.
Within the period of the one-hour break observed by the members of the tribunal, INEC officials had brought in a total of 55 boxes of documents into the court room.
When the tribunal resumed sitting, INEC’s lawyer informed the panel that the order of the court had been complied with.
Pointing to the cartons of documents lined up in the courtroom, Usman said since the order of court was not for INEC officials on whom the subpoenas were earlier served to testify, the Director of Legal Services, Mrs Oluwatoyin Babalola, was present to represent the commission.
He also said there was a cover letter signed by the secretary to INEC, Mrs. Rose Orianran-Anthony, accompanying the documents.
He noted that the request by the petitioners for result sheets for the national assembly rerun election in Zamfara State were not available as no such election was conducted.
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