By NBF News

Ahead of Thursday (today) hearing of the election petition filed by the Congress for Progressive Change at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja, the Peoples Democratic Party on Wednesday had asked the tribunal to throw out the petition for lacking in merit.

The party in preliminary objection filed by its counsel, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN), is contending that the said petition was filed on Sunday, May 8, 2011 which was a public holiday, when the Registry did not open for work.

The PDP said it was not in dispute that the petitioners filed the petition in question on Sunday, adding that the position of the law on public holidays could never be over-emphasised.

He said, 'In this section, 'holiday' means a day which is a Sunday or a Public Holiday The Public Holidays Act CAP P40 LFN 2004 is even more explicit in its exclusion of Sundays from the list of working days. Section 4 of the Act specifically reads thus:

'No person shall be compellable to do any act on a day appointed by or under the provisions of this Act to be kept as a public holiday which he would not be compellable to do on a Sunday.'

The PDP said if the Tribunal refused to agree with it on this point, then it should in the alternative, strike out paragraphs 14 (d) iv and 38 of the Petition, which according to the party, contain complaints against the Nigeria Police Force, Civil Security and the Nigerian Army who are not parties to the Petition.

Besides, Gadzama said the failure of the petitioner to join the Nigeria Police Force, Civil Security and the Nigerian Army as parties to the petition, despite complaints made against them in the said paragraphs of the petition, rendered the petition ineffective.

He said, 'The Electoral Act 2010 (as Amended) is lucidly clear on those who must be made parties to a petition i.e. those who are necessary parties and must as a matter of course be made parties to the petition because without them, the issues raised cannot be effectively resolved.'