Chris Uche, a lawyer to Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, says the inauguration of the President-elect Bola Tinubu won’t affect the petitions at the election tribunal.
Tinubu, who was declared the winner of the presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will be sworn in on May 29.
His victory is being challenged in court by Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).
There have been demands by some Nigerians, including John Onaiyekan, former Catholic archbishop of Abuja, that Tinubu should not be sworn in before the conclusion of the election tribunal.
Speaking with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja, Uche, who is the lead counsel to Abubakar, said Tinubu’s swearing-in won’t “in any way tie the hands of the court”.
Uche said he was not worried that Tinubu would be sworn in before the conclusion of the petitions at the tribunal.
“I have been asked about May 29. I want to assure people that swearing in is only a ceremony that does not in any way tie the hands of the court,” he said.
“The taking of oath binds the person who takes the oath and not the court
The court has given you its timelines for parties to present their case. We are happy that with the development, the petitions will be expeditiously determined.”
According to the electoral act, the tribunal has 180 days to determine the petitions. The court is expected to round up all its activities on or before September 16, 2023.
Meanwhile, the court has fixed May 30 to June 23 for Obi and LP to prove their case, June 24 to June 29 for INEC, and June 30 to July 5 for Tinubu and Shettima while the APC would present its case between July 6 to July 10.
August 5 is fixed for the adoption of final addresses.