An insider has opened up on why seven Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state governments withdrew their suit challenging the results of the February 25 presidential election that returned Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner.
The seven states comprising Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Sokoto and Taraba, had on Friday filed a notice of discontinuance on the suit before the Supreme Court.
A report in Saturday Telegraph quotes a senior lawyer with the litigating law firm, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) & Co., as explaining that the matter was withdrawn because it had been overtaken by events.
WHY 7 PDP STATES WITHDREW CASE AGAINST TINUBU’S DECLARATION AS WINNER
The lawyer, whose identity was not revealed, said the suit was filed praying the Supreme Court to compel the Attorney General of the Federation and the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to halt the collation and announcement of results due to irregularities in the election.
“But with the declaration of the winner, we realised that the matter was stale because the court does not have the original jurisdiction to hear presidential election disputes.”
“So, we have decided to incorporate the arguments there to the individuals we are going to be representing at the tribunal,” the source is quoted as saying.
The seven states claimed in the suit that INEC did not follow the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 and the guidelines for the 2023 general elections, particularly uploading of results to the IREV through the BVAS, in declaring Tinubu the winner.
Among other reliefs, they had sought “A declaration that the entire results of the Presidential Election conducted on the 25th of February, 2023 announced by the Chairman of INEC at the National Collation Centre, Abuja, in flagrant violation of the provisions of Sections 25; 47(2); 60 (1), (2), (4) & (5); 62; 64(4)(a) & (b); 70; and 148 of the Electoral Act, 2022, governing the 2023 nationwide general elections, particularly paragraphs 38 of the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, 2022; and paragraphs 2.8.4; 2.9.0; and 2.9.1 of the INEC Manual for Election Officials, 2023, for the conduct of the Presidential Election, were invalid, null and void, and of no effect whatsoever.”