The Supreme Court has struck out an appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, challenging a ruling of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which held that they failed to file a response to an application by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The APC’s application before the tribunal had prayed for, among others, the dismissal of the appellants’ petition. Giving the ruling on Tuesday, the apex court’s five-man panel, led by Justice Dattijo Muhammad, held that the appeal was statute-barred.
Meanwhile, the apex court has said it will return later on Tuesday to deliver its ruling on another appeal by PDP and Atiku seeking access to the Independent National Electoral Commission’s server.
The petitioners’ lead counsel, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), while challenging the June 24, 2019 ruling of the tribunal, told the apex court that his clients were still within time to access the server and make use of the evidence to be extracted from it. He said the 180 days meant for the tribunal to hear and determine the case had not lapsed.
However, the respondents: INEC, represented by Yunus Usman (SAN); President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by Wole Olanipekun and the APC, represented by Charles Edosomwan (SAN), opposed the appeal and urged the apex court to dismiss it.
They maintained that granting the prayer sought by the appellants would be of no utility value as the presentation of evidence at the tribunal had closed with the final argument before the tribunal fixed for Wednesday.