Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tribunal to rule on Jonathan’s inauguration tomorow

THE presidential election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja will, tomorrow, decide whether President Goodluck Jona-than and Vice-President Namadi Sambo would be sworn in on Sunday for another four-year term.

The tribunal, headed by the president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, would be deciding on an application brought by the Hope Democratic Party on Wednesday, seeking to stop the inauguration, pending the determination of its petition challenging the election of the duo on April 16.

The applicant, a participant in the said poll, was asking for an order of injunction restraining Jona-than and Sambo from presenting themselves on May 29 for swearing-in as elected president and vice-president.

It also asked the tribunal to issue an order of mandatory injunction ordering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to suspend and withdraw the certificate of return already issued to the them.
The party had earlier filed a petition before the tribunal, asking it to nullify the presidential election and set aside INEC’s declaration of Jonathan as the winner.

The petitioner argued that the conduct of the presidential election did not substantially comply with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended and the 1999 Constitution, adding that in order to help the PDP, INEC deliberately made the logo of his party invisible to voters.

The party further alleged that over 30 million votes allegedly cast for its presidential candidate, Chief Ambrose Owuru, were diverted to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In the alternative, he asked that these 30 million votes allegedly diverted to the PDP be returned to him and he be declared the winner of the election.

The party also argued that for the INEC to select another date, other than the April 9 for which the presidential election was originally scheduled, it ought to go back to the National Assembly to effect necessary changes in the dates.

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