The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday granted leave to the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate to serve the President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), the petition by substituted service.
The petition and other processes are to be served on Buhari, who is the first respondent in the petition, through the national secretariat of the APC, Wuse 2 Abuja.
Counsel to the PDP and its presidential candidate, Chris Uche (SAN), while moving the exparte motion asked the tribnal to grant the request on the ground that it has become practically impossible to reach the President for personal service. Uche also informed the court that it is in the interest of justice that the request should be granted.
The exparte application was presidcated on seven grounds and 17-paragraph affidavit as well as further affidavit of five paragraphs.
In his ruling, the lead Judge of the three man panel, Justice Abdul Aboki, said that the court granted the request of the petitioners in the intrest of justice.
According to him: “After carefully reading the affidavit and the grounds upon which the experte application was predicated, the court is convinced that it is in the interest of justice that the request of the two petitioners be granted.”
Consequently, the court ordered that Buhari being the second respondent in the petition be served with the petition through any of the senior officials of the All Progressives Congress At its Abuja national secretariat.
Atiku in the petition is praying the tribunal to declare him as the winner of the presidential election having scored majority of the lawful votes cast.
In the alternative he and his party are asking the tribunal to annul the election that returned President Buhari as president and order inec to conduct a fresh election.
Atiku has on the 18th of March filed a petition challenging the declaration of president Mohammadu Buhari as the winner of the February 23rd presidential election.
No date has been fixed for hearing of the petition on the grounds that main respondent that is the President has not been formally served with the petition as required by law.