Former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday, said he is hopeful that he would reclaim his mandate in court.
Speaking through his lawyer, Atiku asserted that the May 29 swearing-in was only a ceremony that did not in any way tie the hands of the court.
He added that he was not worried that the “President-elect”, Bola Tinubu, would be sworn in on May 29, before the conclusion of petitions seeking to nullify his election victory.
He made this known through his lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, after the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting in Abuja, consolidated his petition with the ones that were filed by candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi and the Allied Peoples Movement, APM.
Atiku, maintained that the court had the powers to sack Tinubu from office, even after the swearing in ceremony.
He explained that full blown hearing on the three merged petitions would commence on May 30, a day after Tinubu’s swearing in as President.
He said: “I have been asked about May 29, I want to assure people that swearing-in is only a ceremony that does not in any way tie the hands of the court.”
“The taking of oath binds the person who takes the oath and not the court. The court has given you its timelines for parties to present their case. We are happy that with the development, the petitions will be expeditiously determined,” Atiku’s lawyer, Uche, SAN, added.
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Tuesday merged the petitions submitted by the various political parties while giving the pre-hearing report on the petition and presenting the trial schedule.
The chairman of the five-man panel of the court, Justice Haruna Tsammani, read the pre-hearing report which included the declaration of the court’s decision to consolidate all the petitions to be heard as one.
Following this, Tsammani announced that the hearing of the petition would commence on May 30, 2023. Furthermore, he said after the adoption of written addresses on August 5, 2023, the court shall thereafter prepare for judgement.