The court of Appeal has issued out last warning to The Independent National Electoral Commission and the APC that they have till 16th April to file their responses to the election petition jointly filed by the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging President Buhari’s victory.
Atiku and PDP had, on March 18, 2019 filed the petition before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, challenging the declaration of Buhari and APC as the winner of the presidential election.
According to the petitioners claim, contrary to INEC’s declaration, the PDP’s candidate was the valid winner of the 2019 presidential election. INEC, Buhari and APC are the first to the third respondents.
According to a source, Buhari, INEC and APC – none of the three had filed their responses to the petition regarding Atiku’s action as meaningless.
Paragraph 10(2) of the Electoral Act, 2010 provides for a period of not more than 21 days within which a respondent must reply to an election petition from the date of being served with it.
The non-filing of a reply within time, simply means the respondent has no defence.
A legal practitioner, Mr Tunde Falola, said, “A respondent, who does not file his reply to the petition within time has no defence to the petition and he would be deemed to have accepted those allegations contained in the petition.”