Hope Democratic Party asks tribunal to halt Buhari’s inauguration

The Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and Ambrose Owuru, its presidential candidate, have asked the presidential election petition tribunal to halt the  swearing-in ceremony of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari will be sworn in on May 29.

The motion filed by the applicants is seeking an order restraining Buhari, the first respondent, from presenting himself on May 29 or any other date for swearing in or taking of oath of allegiance and oath of office as president.

They are also seeking an order restraining Ibrahim Mohammed, acting chief justice of Nigeria, or any other justice in that stead from swearing in or administering the oath of allegiance and oath of office on Buhari.

The applicants predicated the application on the ground that they had filed a petition on March 3 challenging the validity of the election and the return of the first respondent as the winner of the election.

“A restraining order by this court is appropriate to preserve the subject matter of this petition and prevent the first respondent foisting a fiat accompli and state of helplessness on the court and render the petition nugatory,” the motion read.

“The law is settled that once the question of the validity of Election of any person is challenged as to whether he is validly elected or not, the person is not competent to take office or assume the seat of power until the matter is dealt with.”

However, Zainab Bulkachuwa, president of the appeal court, adjourned hearing on the application till May 22 on account of non-proper service on the respondents.

“The application filed by the appellants/applicants and all other interlocutory applications are hereby adjourned until May 22 for hearing,” she held.

“It is hereby ordered that all exchanges of processes and filing of respondents’ briefs are done within the period specified.”

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