The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, says he is not worried about the swearing-in of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president on May 29.
Atiku, who is currently challenging the declaration of Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, as the winner of the presidential election held on February 25, said he was hopeful that he would reclaim his mandate in court.
Speaking through his lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, shortly after the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting in Abuja, consolidated his petition with the ones that were filed by the candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi and the Allied Peoples Movement, APM, Atiku, maintained that the court has the powers to sack Tinubu from office, even after the swearing-in ceremony.
Noting that full-blown hearing on the three merged petitions would commence on May 30, a day after Tinubu’s swearing-in as President, the PDP candidate, through his team of f lawyers, 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.
It will be recalled that the Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel had during the presentation of its pre-hearing report on Tuesday, okayed Atiku’s request to be use three weeks to present evidence before the court, through 100 witnesses.
Atiku had in his joint petition with the PDP, marked: CA/PEPC/05/2023, maintained that the declaration of Tinubu as winner of the presidential election was “invalid by reason of non- compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022”.
He argued that Tinubu’s election was invalid by reason of corrupt practices.
Aside from praying the court to declare him winner of the presidential election, having secured the second highest number of votes cast, Atiku and the PDP,
He also applied for the withdrawal of the Certificate of Return that was already issued to Tinubu by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
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