The Court of Appeal has granted the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, the permission to serve his petition challenging the February 25, 2023, Presidential Election on Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Nigeria’s electoral umpire has since gone ahead to declare the APC’s Presidential Candidate winner, presenting him with a Certificate of Return.
However, Obi is challenging the electoral victory awarded Tinubu who was declared the President-Elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In an exparte application, the LP flag bearer’s counsel, Mr. Ikechukwu Ezechukwu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), asked the appellate court to grant Obi and the LP leave to serve the petition on Tinubu and the Vice President-Elect, Senator Kashim Shettima, through substituted means.
Ezechukwu submitted that it has been necessary to serve the court filings through “substituted means” on Messrs. Tinubu and Shettima because of the heightened security status of the duo as President-elect and Vice President-elect, respectively.
The urged the court to permit Obi to serve the court documents on Tinubu and Shettima through the office of the legal adviser of the APC.
Ruling on the application, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, led by Haruna Tsammani, granted Obi’s request.
The court ordered that the petition be served on Tinubu and Shettima “by delivering…or pasting the petition No:CA/PEPC/03/2023 and all other processes filed in the petition at either the office of the National Legal Adviser of the” APC or…with any other officer of the APC “at its National Secretariat at No.40 Blantyre Street, Off Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent, Wuse 2, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”
In the ex parte application, Obi noted that the bailiff of the Court of Appeal made “unsuccessful attempts to serve the petition personally on” Messrs Tinubu and Shettima.
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