UPDATED: Tribunal adjourns Atiku’s petition as INEC prepares response to live broadcast request


 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it would file a response to an application by Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), seeking a live broadcast of the presidential election petition tribunal.

 

Atiku, who is challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential poll, had said televising the proceedings would enhance public confidence in the judiciary.

 

At the pre-hearing session on Thursday, Abubakar Mahmoud, counsel to INEC, said the commission would file its response to the application before the end of the day.

 

Earlier, Chris Uche, counsel to Atiku and the PDP, told the court that parties in the suit have met and harmonised issues for determination.

 

 “The first item resolved by the various counsel are documents. On this, we agreed and set up a team to look at the documents and agreed to eliminate objections while tendering from the bar during the hearing.

 

“We intend to do that between Monday and Tuesday and then prepare a schedule of documents to facilitate the hearing.

 

“The second is the issues for trial. For the petitioners, we have filed ours today and served all the parties subject to any modifications by the honourable court.

 

 “Lastly, with respect to motions pending before the court, we have just one motion filed on May 7. That is the motion on televising the petition. We are yet to receive the responses of the other counsel.”

 

The senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said he has been served with four motions — two from the 1st respondent and two from the 3rd respondent.

 

Uche said he has reacted to one and is preparing the other responses.

 

He thereafter prayed the court to adjourn the matter to next Thursday as agreed by all the parties.

 

The tribunal consequently adjourned the pre-hearing to May 18.

 

Meanwhile, the petition of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) also came up on Thursday.

 

Counsel representing parties in the matter said they have agreed to have a meeting on Monday and Tuesday to harmonise their processes.

 

The petition was further adjourned to May 18 for continuation.


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