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Atiku, PDP Drop Election Tribunal Lawsuit: What Does This Mean for Nigerian Politics?



Atiku, PDP Drop Election Tribunal Lawsuit: What Does This Mean for Nigerian Politics?

Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate for president, and his party have withdrawn a new application they had submitted in an effort to force the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to permit their agents to take part in the process of sorting out the ballots used in the presidential election on February 25, 2023.

iexclusivenews reports that both Atiku and PDP informed the Presidential Election Petition Court, sitting at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Wednesday that they were no longer interested in the application.

Atiku and PDP are contesting the election result, which was declared in Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s favor.

As the motion ex-parte numbered, CA/PEC/10M/2023, was called up for hearing, Atiku, through his team of lawyers led by Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN) told the court that he filed a notice of discontinuance.

The exparte motion was filed, according to a member of Atiku’s legal team who asked not to have his name used, because of difficulties and administrative bottlenecks that occurred at the INEC office when PDP agents and its presidential candidate attempted to access the election materials as directed by the court.

“However, before the application dated March 13 could be slated for hearing, INEC, on its own, called our legal team for a meeting.

“It was at that meeting which held yesterday (Tuesday) that all the grey areas were sorted out, with INEC, pledging to allow our agents to observe the process of sorting out some of the electoral materials we requested for, especially the ballot papers.

“Since that was primarily our prayer in the fresh application we filed, we felt that it would not be necessary to proceed with the hearing. So, to save judicial time, we filed a notice of discontinuance which was accordingly granted,” he added.

Following the withdrawal of the application by Atiku and his party, the three-judge panel of the court, presided over by Justice Joseph Ikyegh, dismissed it.

The declaration by INEC that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC, had won the February 25 presidential election is being contested by Atiku, his party, Mr. Peter Obi, and the Labour Party.