The People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) has filed a motion seeking to withdraw from the petition filed by its presidential candidate against President Muhammadu Buhari and two others.
PDM and its presidential candidate, Aminchi Abu had brought the petition challenging their exclusion from participating in the February 23 presidential election.
The petition was brought under Section 138 of the Electoral Act, which held that the election be nullified where “a candidate was validly nominated but unlawfully excluded.”
In the said petition before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, the petitioners listed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressive Congress (APC) as respondents.
At the tribunal yesterday, while Barrister Aliyu Lemu made appearance for Aminchi, Barrister Morrison Onunu announced appearance for PDM which was represented by its national chairman, Chief Frank Igwebuike.
Onunu informed the tribunal of the motion and that while all parties had been served, he would need a short time to respond to a counter-affidavit filed by Aminchi through his lawyer.
A copy of the motion cited by our reporter had two prayers: first, an order of the court for the 2nd petitioner (PDM) to withdraw from the petition in its entirety; and second, a consequential order striking out the name of PDM as a petitioner in the petition.
An affidavit deposed to by Igwubuike said the withdrawal “is in the best interest of the party and the nation Nigeria.” He also said among other things that the party in its “wisdom re-evaluated the probability of the petition succeeding and decided to withdraw from the petition.”
However, the national secretary of the party, Abubakar Gwada, in a counter-affidavit, said Igwebuike does not have the authority of the party to deposed to affidavit attached to the said motion. He said the National Working Committee of the party had not met since the institution of the petition.
Meanwhile, the tribunal had adjourned the matter to July 18 for the hearing of the motion and continuation of pre-hearing session in the petition.
Earlier, the tribunal heard an application by the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and its presidential candidate, Chief Ambrose Owuru. The application, which was opposed by all the respondents, sought the leave of the court to amend the statement on oath of their witness.
While the tribunal reserved its ruling on the application, the matter was adjourned to July 18 for continuation of pre-hearing session.