The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja has stood down Wednesday’s pre-hearing session on the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate in the February 23 poll, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The tribunal stood down the matter following the request by the petitioners’ legal team for a meeting of the panel members with the lawyers appearing for the various parties inside chambers.
Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN) leading the petitioners’ team, made the request on behalf of his team saying he had earlier before the Wednesday’s sitting began, informed the legal teams of the respondents of his intention to call for the meeting with the tribunal members.
The lawyers representing the respondents – the Independent National Electoral Commission, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the All Progressives Congress – did not oppose the request for the meeting.
Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), led Buhari’s legal team, Mr. Yunus Usman (SAN) led the INEC’s team while Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), led the APC’s team.
After a brief conversation between the bench and the bar, it was agreed that each of the parties to the petition would present two lawyers each to meet with the Justices in chambers.
The 10 lawyers left the courtroom around 10:53 a.m. to join the members of the panel at the Conference Room of the President of the Court of Appeal and returned to the courtroom around 11:42 a.m.
Meanwhile, there is a heavy presence of security men within and around the Court of Appeal in Abuja, venue of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, on Wednesday.
The security personnel comprising mainly men of the Nigeria Police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps mounted roadblocks at both ends of the stretch of the road passing in front of the court.