FRACTION OF HDP DISOWN PETITION AGAINST PRESIDENT BUHARI
Drama at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Tuesday when a faction of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) disowned the petition filed by its presidential candidate, Ambrose Albert Owuru and the party against the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The faction of the party led by one Poland Tampre, at the resumed hearing of the petitions on Tuesday, announced that its presidential candidate was never authorised or mandated to file any petition against the February 23 presidential election.
Mr Tapre, who brought a motion to disown the petition of the presidential candidate, prayed the tribunal to strike out the name of the party from the petition.
Two factions of the HDP had earlier announced appearances, one led by Mr Ambrose Owuru and another by Polan Tampre.
Mr Tampre filed a motion asking the tribunal to strike out the petition filed by Mr Oworu and his faction on the grounds that it is strange to his faction of the party.
Tapre, in the motion, argued by his counsel, Anthony Agbonlahan, pleaded with the tribunal presided by Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba to remove the party’s name from the petition because HDP has no intention of challenging the outcome of the presidential poll.
In the motion, which has three exhibits, the faction claimed that Mr Owuru did not consult with the party leadership before using the name of the party as the second petitioner against the election of President Buhari.
However, the presidential candidate of the party, Mr Owuru vehemently opposed the attempt to scuttle his petition with a counter affidavit of six paragraphs deposed to by one Auwal Abdullahi, who claimed to be national financial secretary of the party.
He said the bid to remove the party’s name from his petition is a “gang up” against his petition and urged the tribunal to ignore the purported factional chairman.
Owuru’s counsel, Chukwunonyerem Njokwu, in the counter affidavit described the factional chairman as an impostor who is not known to the party in any capacity.
The counsel alleged that the factional chairman was a sponsored agent sent to the tribunal to frustrate the speedy hearing of the petition and pleaded with the tribunal to award a punitive cost of N100million against the factional chairman for acting as a busy body and meddlesome interloper in the petition.
Counsel to the respondents in the case which include, President Muhammadu Buhari, INEC and the APC all support the application of the factional HDP Chairman, Tampre that the HDP be struck out as a party in the suit.
In a ruling on another motion, the tribunal permitted the HDP presidential candidate, Mr Owuru, to amend clerical errors in his petition but refused the request to call additional witnesses to testify against President Buhari.
Justice Garba ruled at the 21 days allowed by law to file a petition and list witnesses and their statements on oath had lapsed, hence, additional witnesses could not be allowed.