15 July 2011
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja as the Presidential Election Tribunal Thursday dismissed two preliminary objections filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan, seeking to stop the court from hearing the petition filed by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) challenging the April 16 presidential election.
In a unanimous decision, the court held that filing the petition on Sunday did not render it incompetent.+++
Meanwhile hearing of the substantive petition has been fixed for August 1
Reacting to the judgment, the CPC commended the decision of the tribunal to go ahead with the hearing of the party's petition by throwing out an objection from the PDP.
In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of CPC, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, the party described the judgement as a landmark. It said it would pave the way for expeditious hearing of the case.
Fashakin said the ruling was welcomed as it had effectively halted the time-wasting antics of the PDP meant to stall the election petition.
"The ruling effectively paves way for the hearing of the petition in an expeditious manner. It is expected that if the 2nd respondent and the 6th to 42nd respondents allow the order of the court to give unfettered access to the election materials for the purpose of forensic examination and analysis, then the Nigerian people should look forward to a landmark litigious process that would greatly enrich the nation's jurisprudence," he said.