The Presidential Election Petitions Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned to Tuesday to release its pre-hearing report on the petition filed by the Allied Peoples Movement, APM against the Independent National Electoral Commission, All Progressives Congress, and President-elect Bola Tinubu, Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima and APC vice presidential placeholder, Kabiru Masari.
APM is asking for Tinubu’s disqualification over his choice of vice-president presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima, in the February 25 election.
On Monday, the five-man panel of the court led by Justice Haruna Tsammani asked the lawyers to different parties to decide whether petitions should be consolidated into one case in line with the Electoral Act and since they are all challenging the same election.
Femi Ihero SAN, who represents INEC, said while the Commission is not opposed to the consolidation of the petition, “either way, we leave it to your lordship’s discretion.”
But the APC counsel, Akin Olujimi SAN said the interest of justice will not be served with the consolidation of all the petitions.
“The issues raised are not all the same.
He said it will practically be impossible to effectively engage the witnesses of all the petitioners.
On their part, Tinubu and Shettima’s counsel opposed consolidation of all the petitions into one case, aligning with the submission of the APC counsel.
With due respect, the consolidation of petitions is not mandatory.
“The interest of justice in this petition should be a restraint on the power of the court to exercise its discretion.
“I most humbly urge my lord not to grant consolidation,” Olumiji said.
Masari’s lawyer, T. Roland aligned with the position of APC, Tinubu and Shettima.
“If the petitions are consolidated, it will cause embarrassment, confusion and chaos,” APC said.
“You will know our decision when we submit our pre-hearing report.
“We adjourn this pre-hearing session to Tuesday for presentation on our pre-hearing report,” the panel said.