By Bukola Olasanmi
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last presidential election, Atiku Abubakar are absent in court as the Supreme Court begins proceedings to explain reasons why it dismissed the appeal by the party and its candidate against the September 11, 2019 decision of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) upholding the second term election of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Supreme Court had, on October 30 dismissed the appeal and promised to give reasons for its decision on a latter date.
When the court opened on Friday morning, the case was called, but no lawyer announced appearance for the petitioners. None of the PDP known faces were in court as against the situation on October 30, 2019 when chieftains of the party flooded the court.
Alex Izinyon (SAN) who represented Buhari, drew the court’s attention to the strange development and noted that it was against the court’s rules for an appellant to stay away from court when a decision is being taken on the appeal.
He noted that no lawyer announced appearance for the appellants and wondered if hearing notices were not served on them.
Responding, Justice Okoro, who led a three-man panel, said the appellants were served with hearing notices and that the court will proceed with the business of the day despite the appellants’ absence.
Justice Okoro has started reading the reasons for the court’s judgment, which he said was written by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad.