The Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 25 presidential election, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, on Friday, told the Presidential Election Petition Court sitting in Abuja that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is fighting a proxy war in its defence of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu in his petition challenging his (Tinubu) election.
Mr. Kemi Pinhero (SAN), who conducted the Friday proceedings for the electoral body, moved a motion on notice praying the Court to strike out some of the allegations contained in 32 paragraphs of Atiku’s petition against a declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the February 25 presidential election.
INEC said that the allegations, which formed 32 paragraphs in the Atiku’s petition, should be discountenanced by the Court for lack of jurisdiction.
But Atiku, through his lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), filed a six-paragraph counter affidavit in opposition to INEC’s application and asked the Court to dismiss the electoral body’s application for grossly lacking in merit, in addition to being incompetent.
Uche argued in the counter affidavit that it was not the duty of INEC to do the battle or argue the case of Tinubu, who is 2nd defendant in the petition, and further held that the electoral umpire has no legal right to defend Tinubu on the drug and dual citizenship allegations.
Atiku’s lead counsel said what INEC did in its application was to attack the averments against Tinubu instead of being neutral.
He, therefore, asked the Court to dismiss INEC’S motion for being a gross abuse of court process, lacking in merit and grossly incompetent, and to hear the petition in its merit.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Court, Justice Haruna Tsammani, has fixed the ruling till the date of judgment in the substantive petition.