There is growing tension in All Progressives Congress (APC), as Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) sitting in Abuja, on Friday, ordered the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, should be served with copies of petitions seeking to nullify his election, through substituted means.
The ruling, according to TRIBUNE ONLINE, comes after separate ex-parte applications that were brought before the court by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar and his counterpart in the Labour Party, Peter Obi.
The duo accused Tinubu of deliberately avoiding the service of their petitions on him.
They told the court that several attempts they made to effect service of the petitions on Tinubu, proved abortive.
According to the petitioners, the president-elect deliberately made himself elusive with a view to frustrating their effort to hand him copies of the petition as required by the law.
Consequently, relying on Section 6(6a) and 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, Section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act, as well as Paragraph 8 of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act 2022, the petitioners sought the intervention of the Court.
Both Atiku and Obi further supported their ex-parte motions dated March 23, with affidavits of urgency and non-service, even as they persuaded the court to hear the applications, outside the pre-hearing session of their substantive petitions.
While Atiku’s application was moved on Friday by his legal team led by Mr Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, that of Obi and LP was moved by Mr Ikechukwu Ezechukwu, SAN.
Tinubu had travelled out of the country to spend some time in Paris and London.
According to a statement by Tunde Rahman for the Office of the President-elect, the trip will enable Tinubu to rest and plan his transition programme ahead of his inauguration on May 29.
Rahman added that the President-elect will head to Saudi Arabia from Europe to partake in the Lesser Hajj and Ramadan fasting period.
PDP, LP and the APM and their presidential candidates are challenging Tinubu’s declaration as the winner of the presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
They are praying the court to annul the election on the ground that, it was conducted in substantial non-compliance with the constitution, the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines for the conduct of the election.