Hope Democratic Party (HDP), a political party challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the 2019 presidential election, has asked the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to stop the planned inauguration of the president on May 29.
The HDP has also urged the court for an order restraining Justice Tankpo Muhammad, the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, from administering the oath of office on President Buhari.
The above-mentioned prayers were appended in a motion of notice, which was filed on May 9, and made available to journalists on Tuesday.
The HDP stated that it filed its motion against the inauguration of the president, who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election, on six grounds.
The party argued that it was challenging the victory of President Buhari and the APC at the presidential poll and, therefore, should not be sworn-in until all legal matters are resolved.
The petitioner noted that the president is aware of the legal proceedings and had already been served the petition.
The HDP further argued that President Buhari will foil “a fait accompli and state of hopelessness on the court” and render their petition inconsequential if he is sworn-in by the acting CJN on May 29.
The party also averred that the law is settled that once a question of the validity of an election of any person is challenged that person is not competent to take oath of office or assume the seat of power.
At the hearing of HDP’s petition on Tuesday, Nuhu Ribadu, a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) showed up and identified himself as the representative of President Buhari.
Ribadu, a former police officer, is a stalwart of the APC in Adamawa State, which is also the state of Atiku Abubakar, the major opposition presidential candidate and another challenger of President Buhari’s electoral victory.
Wole Olanipekun, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), led Buhari’s legal team at the tribunal on Tuesday.