The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in the Court of Appeal Abuja, has dismissed the Preliminary Objection which was filed by INEC, seeking to dismiss the petition brought by Atiku that challenged the election of Buhari as president.
The grounds upon which INEC filed its Preliminary Objection was based on the non-inclusion of Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, SAN, as a party to the petition which challenged the outcome of the February 23 presidential election.
It argued that by virtue of section 133 and 137(2) of the Electoral Act, Yemi Osinbajo is a co-winner in the election and failure to include him as a party in the petition deprives the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal jurisdiction to entertain the petition.
However, the tribunal, in a unanimous decision, held that the objection lacked merit and was not grounded in law.
In line with section 187(1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, the tribunal stressed that like in Governorship election, President Buhari was the actual candidate and therefore the necessary party in the petition and held that Atiku’s petition was valid and competently filed.