On Wednesday, the Presidential Election Petition Court upheld an argument from the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Muhammadu Buhari, that (the Court) lacked jurisdiction to consider allegations of corrupt practices and voter incentive against the vice presidential candidate, Yemi Osinbajo at the request of Atiku Abubakar and his party, the Popular Democratic Party, PDP.
The Court, in its fifth ruling of the day, also confirmed Buhari’s legal team’s argument that it was incorrect for the petitioners to submit such serious accusations against the Vice President without joining him (Osinbajo) as a party to the petition to allow him to defend himself.
Remember that the court had previously rejected an appeal filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which sought to reject the PDP’s request, and Atiku for not joining Osinbajo.
Atiku and PDP, in their petition, affirmed that the Vice President participated in the incentive to voters by spending funds not approved by the National Assembly or approved, under the pretext of Trader Moni and other government social intervention programs.
However, in its ruling on Wednesday, the court held that the non-accumulation of people against whom serious criminal charges were filed in the petition is a denial of their rights to an impartial hearing.
Judge Mohammed Garba, president of the Court, said he agreed with Buhari’s argument, “that this court lacked the powers to judge the charge of government spending of money inappropriate or approved.”
The court rejected the petitioners’ assertion that the persons against whom the accusations were made are agents of the defendants, in particular the second and third defendants, and held that there is no indirect responsibility in criminal law, noting that any person who Violate the law must bear the consequences.