The commencement of pretrial session in the ongoing petition filed by All Progressives Congress, APC, challenging the victory of Kano Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, was stalled on Tuesday.
This is owing to the failure of the Petitioner’s counsel to effect a mandatory fee.
The APC lead counsel, Nuraini Jimoh, SAN, told the Tribunal that failure of the network prevented them from generating REMITA and paying the Federal Government the sum of N700.
He told the court that they faced a slight hitch to access the Network and generate REMITA to pay and upload the pretrial session forms.
He stressed, “My Lords there was a serious technical problem to access and generate REMITA. The Secretary of the Tribunal contacted Headquarters over the technical issue being encountered by the petitioner but they said we will not continue until the process is completed electronically.”
Nuraini Jimoh told the court that the petitioner has 7 days within which to file the pretrial forms, explaining that they are within time.
The counsel prayed for an adjournment to enable the petitioner to file their pretrial forms.
In the Petition, the APC is praying the tribunal to declare that Abba Yusuf was not qualified to contest the election, arguing that his name was not in the list of members of NNPP sent to INEC.
APC is also praying the Tribunal to declare that NNPP did not win the election with the majority of lawful votes because some of the votes cast for them were invalid and if removed from their scores, APC will have the highest number of votes.
In his response, Abba Kabir Yusuf, through his counsel Chief Awomolo Adegboyega, SAN, described APC’s petition as dead on arrival for lacking in merit and competency to stand the test of time.
Consequently, when the Tribunal asked respondents their stand on the prayer by the APC, counsel to INEC, Barrister Emmanuel Osayomi and that of Abba Kabir Yusuf Chief Awomolo Adegboyega, SAN, didn’t oppose the prayer for adjournment.
However, Counsel to the INEC, Osayomi urged the Tribunal to allow him file an application to amend processes.
INEC made a mistake by referring to the All Progressives Congress, APC, as All Progressives Party.
But counsel to the Petitioner told the court that they need time to study the application to decide whether they would object or not.
The Tribunal fixed 7th June, 2023, for hearing of INEC application and commencement of pretrial session.