Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, PEPT, has consolidated all surviving petitions against the Presidency of Bola Ahmed Tinubu and merged them together as one.
PEPT also referred to as Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC announced its decision to merge the petitions of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Labour Party, LP and Allied Peoples Movement, APM on Tuesday when the petition of Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi was called.
The court also fixed May 30th, for the commencement of trial in the three petitions during which the petitioners will be expected to call their first sets of witnesses.
Justice Haruna Tsamani, chairman of the five panel of Justices at the tribunal, also presented the trial schedule and fixed August 5, 2023 for the adoption of addresses.
Three political parties, PDP, LP and APM have filed petitions before the tribunal challenging the declaration of Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Party as the winner of the 2023 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The petitioners, which are five in numbers, include the Labour Party and its candidate, Peter Obi, the Allied Peoples Movement, which is the sole petitioner in the case; and the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
INEC didn’t oppose the tribunal decision to consolidate the five petitions as one but let the decision to the panel, but APC and other respondents in the petition opposed the idea, according to Punch Newspaper reporter.
The five-member panel of the court led by Justice Tsammani, in a unanimous decision dismissed the objections raised against the merger by the Tinubu, the APC, the vice-president-elect, Kashim Shettima, and Kabir Masari, all respondents in the case.
The tribunal which has been conducting pre-hearing on the suits brought before it by various parties fixed the commencement of the hearing and calling of witnesses for Tuesday 30th May, 2023.
Accordingly, the trial will commence 30th May- 23rd June 2023, For Peter Obi. 24th June-29th—June For INEC. 6th July-10th July for Tinubu and APC.
The PEPC also stated that the Respondent address shall be on the 21st of July and the Petitioner address on 29th July.
The tribunal added that judgement will be made immediately after the Adoption of addresses on 5th Augusts, 2023.