In its first ruling, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has dismissed preliminary objection the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, filed to challenge the non-inclusion of Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, SAN, as a party to the petition challenging the outcome of the February 23 presidential election.
In a unanimous decision, the tribunal held that the objection was not grounded in law.
INEC had in the motion it filed on May 5, asked the tribunal to strike out the petition over failure to join the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo as a necessary party in the case.
It argued that by section 133 and 137(2) of the Electoral Act, Prof. Osibanjo, was a co-winner of the presidential election and therefore an indispensable party whose right to the fair hearing would be adversely affected.
INEC contended that failure to join Osibanjo as an interested party in the petition robbed the tribunal of its jurisdiction to entertain the petition.
However, the tribunal, in the lead ruling that was delivered by its Chairman, Justice Mohammed Garba, dismissed INEC’s objection as lacking in merit.
More details to come….