The Hope Democratic Party has asked the presidential election petition tribunal to stop the acting chief justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Mohammad, from swearing in President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29.
The party, in an application brought by its lawyer, Oliva Eya, is alleging that the swearing in of the incumbent president will affect the actions of the other bodies linked to its ongoing petition challenging Mr Buhari’s election.
The HDP is one of the political parties questioning the February 23 general election which birthed Mr Buhari’s second tenure.
The party is accusing the federal government of controversially postponing the elections earlier scheduled to hold on February 16 against the general consensus of Nigerians.
According to the HDP, the actions of the Independent National Electoral Commission in postponing the elections made the February 23 general elections questionable and in violations of the Electoral Act.
The panel, presided over by the Court of Appeal President, Zainab Bulkachuwa, had adjourned the matter till May 14 after its inaugural seating on May 8.
When the matter was called, Mr Eya informed the court of their desire to amend the motion before the court and noted the request for the court to prevent the swearing in of Mr Buhari.
Lawyers for the various respondents also filed applications challenging Mr Eya’s request before the tribunal.
The lawyers for the respondents, all Senior Advocates of Nigeria, include Wale Olanikpekun for the first respondent, President Buhari; Yunus Usman, for the second respondent, INEC; and Lateef Fagbemi, for the All Progressives Congress who are the third respondents.
Mr Olanikpekun prayed the court to entertain their request along with Mr Eya’s application. The other respondents’ lawyers made similar applications for their motions to be taken on May 22.
The court adjourned the matter till May 22 for hearing of all the applications.
Following an earlier attempt by Mr Eya to object to the applications made by the respondents, the court said it would adjourn till that date, but allow the petitioner to make his objections before the applications are heard.
After fixing February 16 for the presidential elections, INEC postponed the elections in the early hours of that day citing logistic challenges.