Avoid technicalities, focus on substance, PEPC panel tells lawyers

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The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), sitting in Abuja, has asked lawyers representing all those who filed petitions before the court to avoid unnecessary technicalities and address the substance of their petitions.

The five-member panel with Justice Haruna Tsammani as Chairman, said this at the inaugural sitting of the panel.

The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that the panel started sitting on Monday to hear petitions filed by aggrieved presidential aspirants against the declaration of Sen. Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winners of the disputed 2023 Presidential Election.

NAN also reports that other members of the panel are Justice Stephen Adah, Justice Misitura Bolaji-Yusuf, Justice Boloukuoromo Ugo and Justice Abbah Mohammed.

In his opening speech, Justice Tsammani urged the lawyers not to engage in unnecessary technicalities as such could cause delays in the expeditious hearing of the petitions.

“Election is time bound, let us not waste unnecessary time, let us cooperate with each other so that everyone will leave here satisfied.

“Avoid unnecessary technicalities, we are determined to look at all the matters brought before us.

“Let us look at what is good for our country and avoid time wasting applications,” he said.

He said that there were five petitions and the first three petitions would be heard on Monday while the last two would be heard on Tuesday.

Responding, Mr Wole Olanipekun, SAN, said that as lawyers, they were bound by the law abiding and would adhere strictly to the rule of law throughout the proceedings.

Olanipekun gave the assurance that the lawyers would give their full support to the cause.

Other senior advocates also agreed with Olanipekun.

NAN also reports that shortly after the judges recessed after the opening to prepare to hear the petitions, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, walked into the courtroom and exchanged pleasantries with lawyers and litigants in court.

NAN recalls that Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had declared Tinubu winner of the Feb. 25 Presidential Election.

Dissatisfied with the announcement, the candidates of the Labour Party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and others dragged the commission, the APC and Tinubu to court challenging his victory.

Members of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) would adjudicate on all petitions filed against the declaration of Tinubu and the APC as winners of the disputed 2023 Presidential Election. (NAN)

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