The presidential election petitions tribunal has dismissed the suit filed by the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and Ambrose Oworu, its presidential candidate, seeking to stop President Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration.
The party and its presidential candidate are seeking an order from the tribunal to restrain Tanko Muhammad, acting chief justice of Nigeria, from administering the oath of office on Buhari on May 29.
“A restraining order by this court is appropriate to preserve the subject matter of this petition and prevent the first respondent foisting a fiat accompli and state of helplessness on the court and render the petition nugatory,” the motion had read.
“The law is settled that once the question of the validity of Election of any person is challenged as to whether he is validly elected or not, the person is not competent to take office or assume the seat of power until the matter is dealt with.”
However, a three-man panel lead by Joseph Ikyechi dismissed the application for lacking merit.
Respondents in the suit which includes Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), faulted the application and asked the tribunal to dismiss it for lacking merit.
Emmanuel Njoku, counsel to Owuru and HDP, had backed their suit with sections 1 (2), 6 (6) 139, and 239 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
But Wole Olanipekun, Buhari’s counsel; Ustaz Usman, INEC counsel, and Akin Olujimi, APC counsel, all sought the tribunal to dismiss the application for being incompetent.
Other petitions before the tribunal include those of Peoples Democraic Party and Atiku Abubakar, its candidate; Geff Chizee Ojinka of the Coalition for Change (CC); and Aminchi Habu of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM).