The Tribunal for the Presidential Election Petitions, on Wednesday, July 24, 2019, discharged the petition filed by the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) and its candidate, Pastor Aminchi Habu, challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s triumph in the February presidential election.
This followed a solicitation by the lawyer for the petitioners, Aliyu Lemu, for the removal of the petition.
Aliyu Lemu informed the five-man tribunal, led by Justice Mohammed Garba, that his clients instructed him to withdraw the petition.
The change came hardly a week after the tribunal asked the petitioners to open their case by presenting their exhibits and calling their witnesses on Wednesday.
The plaintiffs are the Independent National Electoral Commission, Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The three parties did not oppose the request for the withdrawal of the petition.
In an undisputed ruling of the tribunal, Justice Mohammed Garba said, “We find it expedient to grant this application as prayed. “It is granted. And leave is granted to the petitioners to withdraw this petition from the court.”
Then the tribunal dismissed the petition.
The petitioners had sought after the nullification of the presidential election because they were wrongfully exempted from the exercise by INEC.
Aminchi Habu said he agreed with his party’s verdict to withdraw the petition because “we have found other alternative ways of seeking redress for the complaints alleged in our petition”.
He further said, “It will be best to withdraw our petition in the circumstance to decongest the docket of this honourable court and save precious judicial time and to prevent the respondents from any unnecessary expense of defending this petition.”
With the withdrawal of the petition on Wednesday, the petitions before the tribunal perplexing Buhari’s victory have been reduced to two by the Peoples Democratic Party and Hope Democratic Party.
The withdrawal of the Peoples Democratic Movement’s petition came barely a week after Aminchi Habu went against the move by the National Chairman of the PDM to withdraw the party from the petition.
Aminchi Habu’s resistance to the move was maintained by the tribunal, which dismissed the application for the withdrawal in a ruling delivered on July 18.