Petition: Tinubu not served notice before travelling —Lawyer
The camp of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has disclosed that it would be absurd for him to respond to the petitions filed at the election tribunal by Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi and his counterpart in Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, when he has not been served a notice.
The development is coming five days after Obi formally filed his petition to the elections tribunal to protest the outcome of the February 25 poll.
Obi’s petition came four weeks after the contentious presidential and National assembly elections that produced the president-elect.
Unfortunately, according to the Legal Director of Tinubu Presidential Campaign Council, Babatunde Ogala, Tinubu was not served with the notice before he left the country for vacation in France last week.
The PDP and LP candidates had both accused Tinubu of deliberately avoiding being served their petitions and told the tribunal that several attempts made to serve the petitions on the APC candidate has proved abortive.
His action prompted the election tribunal sitting in Abuja to order Obi and Atiku to serve him with copies of petitions seeking to nullify his election through substituted means, specifically through his political party, the All Progressives Congress.
In a phone chat with our correspondent, the Chief Spokesman of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, expressed disappointment that the recent vacation trip was Tinubu’s idea of evading being served the papers.
He said, “They deliberately frustrated the process. That man (Tinubu) practically ran out of the country after evading being served the notice. But our party will serve him the notice through the APC. I am sure they must have received it by now.”
When asked the date that Tinubu’s legal team hopes to respond to Obi and Atiku’s petitions, Ogala, insisted that they have not been served any notice.
“How can we fix a date for that? We will file our response before the time lapses,” he said.
On whether Tinubu deliberately left the country to evade being served the notice and if his absence would stall the process as speculated, Ogala debunked the claim.
“That is false. In fact, as of this morning, Tinubu has not been served a copy of the petition. They only obtained an order for substituted service on Friday. So they have to serve him. The earliest they can serve is Monday and he has 21 days from there.
“So when you have not served somebody, you cannot expect him to respond. Until we are served the petition copy, that’s when our time will start counting,” he said.