Lagos East: Tribunal Strikes Out APM’s Petition Against Senator Abiru

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The National Assembly and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ikeja, has struck out a suit filed by the Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM) challenging the victory of Senator Adetokunbo Abiru in the December 2020 Lagos East senatorial district poll.

In a ruling delivered on Tuesday, Justice Bassey Ikpeme who chaired the three-man panel struck out the petition after an application by the APM and its candidate, Olusola Babatope, to withdraw their petition.

The other two members of the panel were Justice Mohammed Abubakar and Justice M.M. Odanya.

Both petitioners had approached the Tribunal to nullify Abiru’s victory which was declared by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC).

Apart from third defendant Abiru, his party – the All Progressives Congress (APC) – and INEC, were listed as the first and second respondents in the petition.

The Tribunal had fixed February 23 to hear the APC and INEC’s objections to the petition by APM and Babatope.

However, the petitioners did not file any response to the respondent’s objections.

Rather, having appraised the respondents’ defence to their petition, they filed an application seeking to withdraw it.

Abiru’s counsel and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Kemi Pinheiro, confirmed receipt of the petitioners’ application to withdraw the suit.

He also informed the Tribunal that under Paragraph 30 of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act, 2010 (as Amended), Abiru had filed the affidavit required and would not be opposed to the application.

The APC’s counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko, who is also a SAN, and INEC confirmed receipt of the petitioner’s application to withdraw.

The Tribunal heard and granted the APM and Babatope’s application to withdraw their petition and subsequently struck out the petition.

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