The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, have withdrawn a new application against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The application was seeking to make the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow their agents to participate in the process of sorting out the ballots used in the February 25 presidential election.
On Wednesday, both the PDP and Atiku informed the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), which was hearing the case at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, that they were no longer interested in the petition.
Atiku notified the court that he had filed a notice of discontinuance through his legal team, which is led by Mr. Joe Kyari Gadzama, SAN, on Wednesday when the motion ex-parte CA/PEC/10M/2023 was scheduled for a hearing.
While explaining why Atiku and PDP withdrew the petition, their legal team said, “We filed the application owing to challenges and administrative bottlenecks we encountered at the INEC office when we went for access to the election materials as ordered by the court.
“However, before the application dated March 13 could be slated for hearing, INEC, on its own, called our legal team for a meeting.
“It was at that meeting which was held yesterday (Tuesday) that all the grey areas were sorted out, with INEC, pledging to allow our agents to observe the process of sorting out some of the electoral materials we requested for, especially the ballot papers.
“Since that was primarily our prayer in the fresh application we filed, we felt that it would not be necessary to proceed with the hearing. So, to save judicial time, we filed a notice of discontinuance which was accordingly granted.”
Naija News recalls that the presidential candidates of the PDP, Atiku, and the Labour Party, Peter Obi, are separately challenging the process of the February 25 election and the outcome which favored Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress.
According to the Election Act of 2022, any candidate who is unhappy with the INEC’s declared winner(s) must file a petition with the tribunal within 21 days of the date the election results were announced.
Within 180 days of receiving the petition, an election tribunal must issue a written decision.