Abuja, Oct. 23, 2023
The Supreme Court has reserved judgment in the appeal filed by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) in the Feb. 25, election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, seeking to dismiss and set aside the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court, (PEPC).
The court similarly reserved judgment in the appeal filed by the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, (LP) Mr. Peter Obi also challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu.
The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) recalls that the PEPC on Sept. 6, dismissed Atiku and Obi’s petitions for lacking in merit and affirmed the election of President Bola Tinubu.
The seven-man panel of justices led by Justice Inyang Okoro, after hearing both appeals on Monday in Abuja, said the date for judgment would be communicated to the parties.
Other justices on the panel are Justice Uwani Abaji, Justice Lawal Garba, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, Justice Adamu Jauro, Justice Tijani Abubakar, and Justice Emma Agim.
In Atiku’s notice of appeal predicated on 35 grounds, he told the apex court that the PEPC erred on the side of law in the judgment delivered by the Chairman of the panel, Justice Haruna Tsammani.
Atiku, through his lead counsel, Mr. Chris Uche, SAN told the court that the judgment of the PEPC was a miscarriage of justice.
He argued that the lower court also erred in law when it failed to nullify the presidential election held on Feb. 25, on the grounds of non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022.
According to him, by the evidence before the court, INEC conducted the election based on grave and gross misrepresentation contrary to the principles of the Electoral Act 2022, based on the doctrine of legitimate expectation.
Specifically, Atiku asked the Supreme Court to set aside the whole findings and conclusions of the PEPC on the grounds that they did not represent the true picture of the grounds of his petition.
Obi, on the other hand through his lead counsel Mr. Levi Uzoukwu, SAN also prayed the apex court to set aside the judgment of the PEPC that dismissed his petition.
Uzoukwu prayed the court to allow the appeal of his client and grant all the prayers sought.
In their responses, counsel to the respondents, the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), President Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress, (APC) each urged the court to dismiss the appeals for want of merit and for being frivolous.
Specifically, President Tinubu’s lawyer, Mr. Wole Olanipekun, SAN described the appeals as lacking in merit .
Olanipekun specifically told the court that the appeal filed by Atiku was abusive in nature and asked the court to dismiss the appeal.
Mr. Mahmoud Yakubu, SAN for INEC and Mr. Akin Olujimi similarly asked the panel to dismiss the appeals for want of merit.
NAN reports that Atiku and Obi are before the apex court challenging the Sept. 6 judgment of the PEPC which dismissed their petitions challenging the victory of President Bola Tinubu at the Feb. 25 presidential polls.
NAN also reports that although both petitions were consolidated, they were heard separately.