By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kaduna has dismissed an application by the former Member representing Lere Federal Constituency in the Lower Chamber, Engineer Suleiman Aliyu Lere to be join as the 4th Respondent to a petition filed before it by Honourable Rabiu Muhammad Lawal and the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).
The Chairman of the Tribunal, Honourable Justice A. H. Suleiman, in the ruling read on behalf of other members of the tribunal said with evidence before it, it is their view that the Applicant is not a necessary party to this petition.
He explained that the jurisdiction of the Tribunal is properly invoked with the parties as presently constituted. Consequently, the Tribunal holds that this application is without merit whatsoever. It is accordingly dismissed in its entirety.
Justice Suleiman added that an election petition Tribunal will not join a party as a respondent in an election he did not participate and won.
“For an election petition Tribunal to even declare any person winner at an election, such a person must have fully participated in all stages of the election.
“Section 285(13) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended is conclusive on this point. See also Section 141 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as emended).
“In the present case, Applicant has not filed any petition before this tribunal or any other. He merely wants to join as a party interested in the outcome of the petition. He is to join as what? A petitioner against his party and INEC or a respondent in an election he did not participate? The law does not permit him to do that,” he said.
The Applicant, Engineer Suleiman Aliyu Lere in a Suit No. EPT/KD/HR/2/19 seek an order granting leave to the Applicant/Party seeking to be joined to move this application outside the pre-hearing session;
“An order joining the Applicant/Party seeking to be joined (Engr Suleiman Aliyu Lere) as 4th Respondent in this petition.”
It would be recalled that the Applicant, Engr Suleiman Aliyu Lere claimed to have won the All Progressives Congress, (APC) primary for Lere Federal Constituency but was dropped for Ahmed Mohammed Munir.