Atiku, PDP drop case against INEC challenging election outcome
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, withdrew a new application they had submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Wednesday in an effort to compel it to permit their agents to take part in the process of sorting out the ballots used in the February 25 presidential election.
PDP and Atiku both informed the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, that they were no longer interested in the application. Both parties are separately contesting the results of the election, which were declared in favor of Bola Tinubu, the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
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When the motion ex-parte, marked: CA/PEC/10M/2023, was called up for hearing on Wednesday, Atiku, through his team of lawyers led by Mr. Joe Kyari Gadzama, SAN, told the court that he filed a notice of discontinuance.
Atiku’s decision to withdraw the application according to reports, was a fallout of a meeting his legal team held with the leadership of the electoral body on Tuesday.
“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 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”, a member of Atiku’s legal team, who did not want his name mentioned because he was not authorized to speak on the matter said.