Main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, on Thursday, denied reports that the party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, had withdrawn the petition filed against the Independent National Electoral Commission and President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and All Progressives Congress at the Presidential Election Tribunal.
Recall that PDP and Atiku withdrew a fresh application they filed to compel INEC to allow their agents to participate in the process of sorting out ballot papers that were used for the February 25 presidential election.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, in a statement, insisted that the party did not withdraw any petition against INEC, APC and Tinubu.
According to the statement, “The said report is false and a reprehensible fabrication by the mendacious APC which is disconcerted by the overwhelming evidence against it and our tenacity to reclaim the mandate freely given to the PDP and Atiku Abubakar by Nigerians on February 25, 2023.
“The PDP states in clear terms that our party and Atiku Abubakar did not withdraw our petition against INEC, APC and Tinubu at the Presidential Election Tribunal. However, to set the record straight and for the benefit of our teeming members, supporters, and the general public, the PDP clarifies as follows;
“On Monday, March 13, 2023, the legal team of Atiku Abubakar led by J.K Gadzama, SAN was in court to move a Motion Exparte accompanied by an Affidavit of Urgency (CA/PEC/12M/2023), seeking orders directing INEC to allow us observe/participate in the process of sorting out the ballot papers used for the presidential, senatorial and House of Representatives elections conducted on February 25, 2023 across the country.
“The court directed that all parties should be put on notice and asked that we amend our Motion Exparte to Motion on Notice, to serve same on the parties (INEC, APC & Bola Ahmed Tinubu) and return on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, for hearing of our Motion on Notice.
“On Tuesday, March 14, 2023, our legal team had a conference meeting with the Legal Team of INEC, and the commission gave its assurance to cooperate with our team during the inspection and sorting out of ballot papers, and to also provide election materials needed to file our petition.
“On account of this agreement with and assurance by INEC, there was no longer a need to proceed with the hearing of the motion on notice (CA/PEPC/13M/2023). Consequently, our team filed a Notice of Discontinuance of the said Motion.
“On Wednesday, March 15, 2023, our legal team returned to court to inform the court of the resolution reached with INEC and formally discontinued the Motion on Notice against all the parties (INEC, APC & Bola Ahmed Tinubu).
“The PDP is therefore on course and we are determined to pursue the case to its logical conclusion, which is the retrieval of our Presidential mandate at the Tribunal.
“The PDP appreciates the concerns of millions of Nigerians over the false report. Such concern further points to the fact of the overwhelming support of majority of Nigerians for the PDP and Atiku Abubakar at the February 25, 2023 Presidential election.”