The Supreme Court has struck out an appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. A five-man panel led by Justice Dattijo Muhammad said the appeal was statute-barred.
The appeal marked SC/738/2019, had sought to quash an aspect of proceedings of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal where President Buhari’s re-election is being challenged.
The appellants prayed the Supreme Court to review the record of proceeding the Justice Mohammed Garba-led tribunal held on June 11, to determine if the presidential tribunal was right when it held that the All Progressives Congress, APC, filed a valid reply to the petition against the outcome of the February 23 presidential election.
Meanwhile, though the apex court adjourned the appeal for hearing, at the resumed proceeding on Tuesday, counsel to the appellants, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, drew the attention of the court to the fact that the constitutionally prescribed period for determination of such interlocutory appeal, had elapsed.
Following his unchallenged oral application to withdraw the appeal, it was accordingly struck out by a five-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice Datijo Mohammed. The Supreme Court said it was satisfied that the appeal had become statute barred.
However, the panel has stood down proceedings to rule on a second appeal that Atiku and PDP filed to challenge the refusal of the tribunal to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to open the central server it deployed for the 2019 presidential election, for inspection.