The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPC) agreed with President Muhammadu Buhari that the court lacked the powers to try allegation of corrupt spending of government money leveled against Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Justice Mohammed Garba who gave the ruling, said he agreed with the argument by applicant “that this court lacked the powers to try allegation of spending of government’s money not appropriated for or approved.”
The court held that the non-joinder of persons against whom grievous criminal allegations were made in the petition, including Osinbajo, is a denial of their rights to fair hearing.
The ruling was in line with the arguement of Buhari’s legal team, led by Wole Olanipekun (SAN) that it was wrong for the petitioners to raise such grievous allegation against Osinbajo without giving him the chance to defend himself against the allegation
According to The Nation, the court rejected the petitioners’ claim that the persons against whom the allegations were made are agents of the respondents, particularly 2nd and 3rd respondents (Buhari and APC) and held that there is no vicarious liability in criminal law, noting that anyone, who violates the law should carry his/her cross.
The court also strike out, from the petition, paragraphs containing the said offending criminal allegations, particularly paragraphs 368, 369, 370, 371, 372 containing the petitioners’ allegations of corrupt practices against Osinbajo, in which they accused him of allegedly inducing voters with government funds, not appropriated or approved.