Monday, June 6, 2011

Jonathan, Sambo reply CPC - Presidential election tribunal

President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo have informed the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja that they will be vindicated when materials used for the last presidential election are subjected to forensic tests.

The duo stated this in a joint reply to the petition filed by the Congress for Progressive Change which is challenging their victory in the election.

They described the petition as baseless, vague and an after-thought, asking the court to dismiss it.

A copy of the joint reply was obtained by journalists on Sunday.

According to them, all the allegations contained in the petition are frivolous, scandalous and unsupportable in law and in fact.

The Justice Isa Salami-led five-man panel has Justices Mohammed Garba, M.A. Owoade, I.I. Agbube and Obande Ogbuiya, all justices of the Court of Appeal as members.

The reply was signed on behalf of the President and the Vice-President by 10 Senior Advocates of Nigeria.

They are Wole Olanipekun, O.C.J. Okocha, Alex Izinyon, Damien Dodo, Dabian Ajogwu, Ighodalo Imadegbelo, Assam Assam, Jude Nnodum, Paul Erokoro and Edo State former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Omoruyi Omonuwa.

President Jonathan and Vice-President Sambo, therefore, called for 102 witnesses, a forensic expert, another fingerprint expert a biometric analyst and a statistician to prove that the election complied with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

They also raised an objection to the competence of the petition which, if upheld, will be dismissed at an early stage and will not go into trial.

In the objection, they asked the court to dismiss the petition based on the following grounds:

The petition was founded on a nullity having been filed on Sunday, May 8, 2011.”

They said Sunday is a non-working day and the registry of the court, under the applicable rules does not open on Sunday for the transaction of any business.

Secondly, they said the petition was not properly constituted because Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and Pastor Tunde Bakare for whose benefit the petition was filed were not made parties to the petition.

They said, “The prayers/reliefs of the petitioner cannot be granted in the absence of Buhari and Bakare.”

They also said the petition was a gross abuse of the processes of the court and it dealt with hypothetical and academic issues which could not be determined by the court.

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