The Court of Appeal yesterday granted Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February presidential election permission to serve his petition on President Muhammadu Buhari through substituted means.
While moving the ex parte motion, counsel to Abubakar and the PDP, Chris Uche (SAN), asked the appellate court to grant the application on the grounds that personal service on the president had become practically impossible.
Uche predicated his application on seven grounds with a 17-paragraph affidavit as well as a further affidavit of five paragraphs.
The three-man panel led by Justice Abdul Aboki ruled that it was in the interest of justice to grant the ex parte application.
“After carefully reading the affidavit and the grounds upon which the ex parte application is predicated, the court is convinced that it is in the interest of justice that the request of the two petitioners be granted.
“Consequently, the court orders that Buhari, being the second respondent in the petition, be served the petition through any of the senior officials of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the party’s Abuja national secretariat.”
The petition and other processes are to be served on the president through No. 40 Blantyre Street, Wuse II, Abuja, being the national secretariat of the party.
Abubakar is challenging the declaration of Buhari as winner of the presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He filed a petition before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on March 18, asking it to declare him winner of the poll having scored the majority of the lawful votes cast.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the petition as Buhari, the main respondent, has not been formally served with the petition as required by law.