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Atiku challenges INEC’s right to defend President-elect Tinubu

Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has raised objections regarding the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) legal authority to defend President-elect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu against drug and dual citizenship accusations.

Atiku argues that INEC is overstepping its boundaries by involving itself in Tinubu’s defence and asserts that the commission should remain neutral and focus solely on the conduct of the disputed presidential election

INEC, represented by counsel Kemi Pinhero, filed a motion requesting the court to dismiss 32 allegations made by Atiku against Tinubu in his petition.

However, Atiku, through his lead counsel Chief Chris Uche, countered INEC’s motion, stating that the commission’s role is limited to defending the conduct of the election, not individual candidates.

Atiku’s Arguments

Chief Chris maintained that INEC’s request to defend Tinubu is unfounded, unconventional, and constitutes an abuse of the court process.

He further asserted that INEC should remain neutral and not take sides in matters related to individual candidates and urged the court to dismiss INEC’s motion on the grounds of gross abuse of the court process, lack of merit, and incompetence.

Following the arguments presented by both parties, the Chairman of the Court, Justice Haruna Tsammani, has reserved the matter for ruling.

The Presidential Election Petitions court, situated at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, convened on May 7, to deliberate upon the petitions challenging the declaration of Bola Tinubu, the candidate representing the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the President-Elect.

Examining the Petitions:

Petition #1: Unveiling the Claims against the Declaration
Petition #2: Exploring Alleged Irregularities in the Electoral Process
Petition #3: Scrutinizing Constitutional Compliance
Petition #4: Analyzing the Validity of the Election Results

Reporting by Ifeoma Nwovu; Editing by Muzha Kucha