An argument by Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 23 2019 Presidential election, that the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain allegations of corrupt practices and voters’ inducement raised against the vice presidential candidate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in the petition by the Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and his party, was on Wednesday upheld by the Tribunal.
It was also upheld in the fifth ruling of the day by the Tribunal, that it was wrong for the petitioners to raise such grievous allegations against the Vice President without joining him (Yemi Osinbajo) as a party in the petition to enable him defend himself as raised in the argument by Buhari’s legal team.
Atiku Abubakar and his party claimed in their petition that the Vice President engaged in voters inducement by spending funds not appropriated by the National Assembly or approved, in the pretext of Trader Moni and other social intervention programmes of the government.
The tribunal held in its ruling on Wednesday, September 9, that the non-joinder of persons against whom grievous criminal allegations were made in the petition, is a denial of their rights to a fair hearing.
President of the Tribunal, Justice Mohammed Garba, said he agreed with the argument by Buhari,
“that this court lacked the powers to try allegation of spending of government’s money not appropriated for or approved.”
The court rejected petitioners’ claim that the persons against whom the allegations were made are agents of the respondents, particularly 2nd and 3rd respondents and held that there is no vicarious liability in criminal law, noting that anyone who violates the law should bear the consequences.