From Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja
The petition of the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), Pastor Aminchi Habu, challenging the conduct of the February 23 presidential election and declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of the poll has been dismissed.
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja dismissed the petition on Wednesday following its dramatic withdrawal by the petitioner and his party.
Habu’s petition said to be the most delicate and dangerous against Buhari’s election having been predicated on unlawful exclusion from participating in the election despite his nomination and clearance for the poll was thrown out by Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba in a brief ruling.
Although the petition was scheduled for hearing Wednesday, the petitioner however shocked the crowd in the tribunal when he dramatically announced that he was withdrawing the petition filed against Buhari four months ago.
Citing the need to prevent Buhari from incurring expenses to defend himself in the petition and also the need to make him concentrate on the act of governance, the petitioner said that he was desirous of withdrawing the petition.
Besides, the PDM Presidential candidate also told the Tribunal that he has found an alternative means of seeking redress in his complaint against Buhari’s election.
After the motion on notice was moved by Aliyu Lemu, Buhari’s counsel Yusuf Ali SAN, All Progressive Congress Counsel Funke Adekoya and that of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Yunus Usman SAN did not object to the withdrawal of the petition but rather said that it was a positive development.
Consequently, Tribunal chairman, Justice Mohammed Garba, granted the application and dismissed the petition.
The tribunal had last week adjourned to tWednesday, July 24, for commencement of hearing in the PDM’s petition after dismissing a similar application filed and argued last week by the PDM’s National Chairman, Frank Igwebuike who sought to remove the PDM’s name from the petition of the Presidential Candidate
Habu and his party, PDM had in their petition number CA/PEPT/ 04/2019 filed on March 19, 2019 sought the nullification of the February 23 presidential poll on grounds that they were excluded from participating in the election.
They specifically alleged that the party logo was not included in the Ballot Paper used for the presidential election as required by law despite their lawful nomination and clearance by the electoral body to participate in the poll.
President Buhari is now faced with two petitions from the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar and that of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) Chief Albert Ambrose Owuru slated to continue July 29 and August 5 respectively.