The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal is set to deliver judgement not later than 13th of September, 2019.
The initial date of September 15 is no longer realistic because it is a Sunday. A reliable source revealed that the judgement will be delivered on September 13.
Section 134 (1) to (3) of the Electoral Act provides that an election petition should be filed, heard and determined within 180 days. The section was inserted into the Electoral Act following a situation where election petitions took up to four years before being resolved, leading to the disruption of the political process in the country.
According to the source, ‘’the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the February 23 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his party, will definitely be decided before September 15.
‘’They (the tribunal) cannot go beyond that date in deciding the petition one way or the other because, by law, that is how far they can go in the case. They can’t sit beyond that day. They are not permitted to do so by law. The 180 days stipulated by the law will elapse that day,’’ he said.
When Atiku filed his petition on March 18, 2019, he told the tribunal that he and his party had assembled about 400 witnesses to prove his case against President Muhammadu Buhari, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The tribunal, headed by Justice Mohammed Garba, which began its inaugural sitting on May 7, reserved the petition for judgement on August 21 after hearing the arguments of the parties before it.