Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja on Monday started the pre-hearing phase of the petitions brought against the results of the February 25 presidential election in which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress as the winner.
According to INEC, Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes to win the election. While Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party came second with 6,984,520 votes, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party was third with 6,101,533 votes.
Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi had separately filed suits disputing the election outcome and seeking to overturn it.
According to Channels Television, the names of the Justices who will be presiding over the various petitions: the Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Haruna Tsammani and Justice Stephen Adah of the Court of Appeal Asaba division.
Others include Justice Misitura Bolaji-Yusuf, Court of Appeal also of Asaba Division; Justice Boloukuoromo Ugoh of Kano Division and Justice Abba Mohammed of Ibadan Court of Appeal.
On his part, the head of the five-man panel of justices, Justice Haruna Tsammani assured all parties involved that justice will be served.
In attendance at Monday’s pre-hearing are lawyers to the petitioners, journalist, Governor Simon Lalong of the APC and Mr Obi of the LP.
In their separate response, counsels to the President-Elect, Wole Olanikpekun; Atiku Abubakar, Chris Uche and Peter Obi, and Livy Uzoukwu, assured the court of their full cooperation and support in ensuring speedy hearing and determination of the petitions.
Th hearing commenced amid tight security, with major roads leading to the appellate court, the venue of the PEPT, barricaded by armed police officers who mount vehicles at various intersections nearby while other security officers are also stationed outside and around the court premises.
In another development, the Action Alliance has withdrawn its petition against the President-Elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It is unclear why the petition was withdrawn as no reason was giving for the withdrawal.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.