The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and his party has withdrew a fresh application they filed seeking to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow their agents to participate in the process of sorting out ballot papers that were used for the February 25, 2023, presidential election.
Both Atiku and PDP, who are challenging the outcome of the election that was declared in favour the candidate of the All Progressives Congress Bola Ahmed Tinubu, told the Presidential Election Petition Court, sitting at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Wednesday that they were no longer interested in the application.
As the motion ex-parte numbered, CA/PEC/10M/2023, was called up for hearing, Atiku, through his team of lawyers led by Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN) told the court that he filed a notice of discontinuance.
A member of Atiku’s legal team, who did not want his name mentioned said, the exparte motion was filed because of the challenges and administrative bottlenecks encountered at the INEC office when agents of the PDP and its presidential candidate went to access the election materials as ordered by the court, Nigerian Tribune reports.
“However, before the application dated March 13 could be slated for hearing, INEC, on its own, called our legal team for a meeting.
“It was at that meeting which held yesterday (Tuesday) that all the grey areas were sorted out, with INEC, pledging to allow our agents to observe the process of sorting out some of the electoral materials we requested for, especially the ballot papers.
“Since that was primarily our prayer in the fresh application we filed, we felt that it would not be necessary to proceed with the hearing. So, to save judicial time, we filed a notice of discontinuance which was accordingly granted,” he added.
The three-member panel of Justices of the court, headed by Justice Joseph Ikyegh struck out the application, following its withdrawal by Atiku and his party.
Atiku, his party, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi and his party are challenging the declaration of the Presidential candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the winner of the February 25 presidential election by INEC.