The Action People’s Party(APP) on Wednesday withdrew its petition seeking to nullify the victory of the candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the winner of the February 25 presidential election.
Counsel to APP, Mr Obed Agu said his client is desirous of withdrawing the petition at the resumed hearing of the matter at the Presidential Election Petition Court on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said the motion to withdraw the application was filed on May 9.
“The petitioner/applicant wishes to withdraw the petition in line with Paragraph 29 Sub (1,2,3) of the Schedule of Election Petitions.
“The petitioner is asking for an order of court to grant it leave to withdraw the petition and an order of court striking out or dismissing the petition.”
Responding, counsel to Tinubu, Mr Wole Olanipekun, SAN, told the court that he had been served a copy of the application and was not opposed to it.
Olanipekun rather commended the party for withdrawing the petition and expressed optimism that more parties would withdraw their petitions against his client.
For his part, Mr Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, told the court that he had filed an affidavit pursuant to Paragraph 30 of the first Schedule to the Electoral Act 2022.
Fagbemi said that in the affidavit, it was stated essentially that there was no collusion and that he was not opposing the application to withdraw the petition.
The deponent of the affidavit, Mr Omosanya Popoola, said he knew for a fact that the petitioners had indicated their intention to withdraw the petition by filing a motion to that effect on May 9.
He deposed that no agreement or term was reached by the APC with the petitioners in their decision to withdraw the petition.
“I know as a fact that no agreement or terms of any kind whatsoever was entered into with the petitioners and based on the above information, i sincerely believe that the petitioners were not influenced by anybody to withdraw this petition.”
Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Mr Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, also informed the court that he had been served a copy of the motion.
He also said there was no collusion and he commended the APP for withdrawing the petition.
He said that his client would not ask for cost.
In a short ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Haruna Tsammani said that the panel had carefully considered the application of the APP.
He said they were satisfied that there was no collusion on the part of the respondents.
“Petition No. CA/PEPC/02/2023 is hereby dismissed,” Tsammani said.
In an interview with newsmen, Agu said that be was acted based on the instruction of his client.
According to him, I had a brief to file the petition and i also had another brief to withdraw it.
In the petition earlier filed, the APP was challenging the declaration of Tinubu as winner of the Feb. 25 Presidential Election by INEC.
The party said it was challenging the election based on irregularities and also on the grounds that Tinubu was not qualified to contest the election in the first place.
This is the second political party to withdrawn its petition against Tinubu and the APC since the inaugural sitting of the PEPC, the Action Alliance, (AA) having withdrawn its petition on Monday.
Only three petitions are now before the court, that of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) and its Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Labour Party and its Presidential Candidate, Mr Peter Obi and that of the Allied Peoples Movement, (APM).