On your own! HDP disowns presidential candidate’s suit seeking to stop Buhari’s inauguration
The National Executive Committee of Hope Democratic Party has said it has no hand in the petition filed by its presidential candidate, Ambrose Owuru, who recently asked the presidential election petition tribunal to stop the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term.
The party’s national vice chairman who also doubles as its vice presidential candidate, Haruna Shaba, made its position known in his address at an emergency NEC meeting held in Abuja on Saturday.
A copy of his address was made available to journalists on Sunday.
Owuru had, in the suit he instituted on behalf of himself and the party, sought an order restraining Buhari from presenting himself on May 29 or any other date for inauguration or taking of oath of allegiance and oath of office as President.
He had also sought an order restraining the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed, or any other justice from inaugurating or administering oath on Buhari.
He predicated the application on the grounds that he and the party had filed a petition on March 3 challenging the validity of the presidential election and the return of the first respondent as the winner of the election.
But Shaba, who claimed he only heard about the petition in the mass media, said he was embarrassed that such action was taken without his knowledge and the consent of the party’s NEC.
While saying that the party is not a personal property of any individual, the vice presidential candidate said it was “illegal and unacceptable” for any individual to take such a unilateral decision without the party’s approval.
He said, “We, the members of the NEC of our great party wish to draw the attention of the general public that the National Executive Committee of Hope Democratic Party and the vice presidential candidate in the 2019 presidential election, Haruna Shaba, have dissociated ourselves from the purported legal action instituted by the presidential candidate of our party.
“We have taken the decision to instruct our lawyers to communicate the decision of the NEC to the presidential election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja.”
In the motion signed by Mike Okoye, the two petitioners (Owuru and the party) has said they were challenging the validity of Buhari’s election on the grounds of non-compliance with electoral laws. Punch