Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has said he was not worried that the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, would be sworn in on May 29, before the conclusion of petitions seeking to nullify his election victory.
Atiku is currently challenging the declaration of Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the presidential election that was held on February 25.
On Tuesday, the Presidential Election Petition Court sitting in Abuja consolidated Atiku’s petition with the ones filed by Labour Party candidate Peter Obi and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM).
Speaking through his lead counsel, Chris Uche, SAN, Atiku, maintained that the court has the power to remove Tinubu from office, even after the swearing-in ceremony.
“I have been asked about May 29, I want to assure people that swearing in is only a ceremony that does not in any way tie the hands of the court.
“The taking of oath binds the person who takes the oath and not the court
“The court has given you its timelines for parties to present their case. We are happy that with the development, the petitions will be expeditiously determined.”
Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel had during the presentation of its pre-hearing report on Tuesday, okayed Atiku’s request to use three weeks to present evidence before the court, through 100 witnesses.
The former Vice President Atiku had in his joint petition with the PDP, marked: CA/PEPC/05/2023, maintained that the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the presidential election was “invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022”.
He argued that Tinubu’s election was invalid by reason of corrupt practices.