JUST IN: Security Tightened at Presidential Tribunal as Atiku and Obi Push for Tinubu’s Disqualification

Tight security measures have been put in place at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Court in Abuja.

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that over 50 police officers have surrounded the premises as pre-hearing sessions begin ahead of the full hearing on applications challenging the outcome of the 2023 presidential election.

Lawyers representing the parties involved in the case are also present in large numbers, waiting outside the courtroom, which remains locked at the time of this report.

The Labour Party and Peoples Democratic Party presidential flag bearers, Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar, have responded to the preliminary objections filed against their petitions contesting Bola Tinubu’s declaration as winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Obi’s legal team sent a letter to the Secretary of the Presidential Election Court on April 21, requesting the issuance of a pre-hearing notice in respect of their petition. The court approved the letter, allowing for a pre-hearing sitting.

According to the pre-hearing form filled by Obi’s legal team, they are seeking applications for subpoena, objections, enforcement of court orders not obeyed by INEC, and other applications arising in the course of the hearing.

Other pre-hearing responses and applications filed by all the petitioners and respondents will also be heard.

Obi had previously accused Tinubu and INEC of corrupt practices and non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 in his petition. He alleged that the electoral umpire altered election results in about 18,000 polling units against him while refusing to use the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System machine mandatory to accredit voters and upload results in real-time in line with the Electoral Act.

Atiku also argued that Tinubu was constitutionally disabled from contesting in the election due to his alleged dual citizenship, among other reasons.

However, INEC, Tinubu, and his political party, the All Progressives Congress, countered Obi and Atiku’s claims, asking the tribunal to dismiss Obi’s petition for abuse of the court process.

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