Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the President-elect, and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have voiced their opposition to the consolidation of three separate petitions seeking to nullify the results of the 2023 presidential election, News About Nigeria reports.
Represented by his legal team led by Chief Akin Olujinmi, SAN, Tinubu argued that merging the petitions would hinder his ability to adequately defend against the allegations raised by the petitioners.
Tinubu appealed to the court to exercise restraint in granting the consolidation order in the interest of justice, highlighting the different issues and relief sought by the petitioners.
The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Abuja expressed its intention to consolidate the petitions, referring to the relevant provision in the Electoral Act that empowers them to merge and collectively address such petitions.
The court allowed the petitioners’ counsel to consult their clients and report back with their decision.
During subsequent proceedings, Tinubu’s lawyer argued that the provision cited by the court was not absolute, pointing out the differences in issues and evidentiary matters among the petitions.
They urged the court not to grant the consolidation request, emphasizing the difficulty it would pose in adequately responding to the allegations.
The APC’s counsel, Mr. Charles Edosomwam, SAN, also opposed consolidation, highlighting the importance of justice.
They argued that consolidating the cases would lead to an unwieldy trial, making it challenging to address important issues and hindering the respondent’s ability to effectively defend the case.
They asserted that justice should not be sacrificed for convenience.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) stated that while it did not object to consolidation, it deferred the decision to the court’s discretion.
Apart from Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) also filed a petition challenging the outcome of the presidential election in which Tinubu was declared the winner.