Nigeria’s President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has been officially served with copies of the petitions filed at the election tribunal by Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi and his counterpart in the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.
The development is coming one week after Obi and Atiku formally filed their petitions to the elections tribunal to protest the outcome of the February 25 poll, and four weeks after the contentious presidential and National Assembly elections that produced the President-elect.
Both the PDP and LP candidates had accused Tinubu of deliberately avoiding being served the petitions.
In the complaints filed before the tribunal, they alleged that several attempts made to serve the petitions on the APC candidate proved abortive.
The Legal Director of Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Babatunde Ogala, also admitted in a phone chat on Monday that his principal was not served with any notice before he travelled out of the country for vacation in France last week.
In a phone chat with The Punch correspondent, the spokesman for the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, had lamented that: “That man (Tinubu) practically ran out of the country after evading being served the notice. But our party will serve him the notice through the APC. I am sure they must have received it by now.”
Obi and Atiku’s legal teams later obtained leave to serve the petitions on Tinubu by substituted means, i.e. via the APC.
Ogala on Thursday, disclosed that the camp of the President-elect officially received the notices on Tuesday.
“Yes, we received copies of both Atiku and Obi’s petition yesterday,” he said.
On when they hope to file a response in preparation for a hearing date to be given by the court, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria maintained that there was no need for them to rush.
“Go and look at the laws. It says we have up till take 21 days to respond. You journalists shouldn’t put unnecessary pressure on us. I mean, how can they serve me on Tuesday and you are asking when I will file my response when I have a whole 21 days to do that?
“I will suggest that you wait for the day we will file it. You will surely get to know about it,” he stated.
The Spokesman for the APC PCC, Festus Keyamo, also told Punch correspondent that: “We are working on it.”
Meanwhile, APC legal adviser, Ahmad El-Marzuq, also said that the ruling party had been served.
“Of course, we have received the copies of the petition and we are planning to respond. We are on top of the situation,” he said.