Connect with us


The Atiku, Obi And Tinubu’s Legal Battle Continues As Supreme Court Fixes Hearing.




The Supreme Court is ready to sit on Monday to hear the appeals by Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi challenging the victory of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the February 25 poll. It will also hear the appeal by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), as well as a motion by Atiku for leave to tender new evidence. An October 19 hearing notice has been issued to the parties.


A seven-member panel of justices of the apex court will sit on the matter.

The Electoral Act prescribes a 60-day period between the verdict of the PEPC and the judgment of the Supreme Court. The PEPC delivered its verdict on September 6.

Atiku and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Obi and Labour Party (LP) and ChiChi Ojei and the APM are challenging the September 6 consolidated judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).

A few days to the February 25 Presidential election, the APM collapsed its structure into the PDP’s and adopted Atiku.

The tribunal dismissed the petitions challenging Tinubu’s victory for being unmeritorious and because the petitioners failed to prove their cases.

In their 35-ground appeal, Atiku and his party want the highest court to reverse the PEPC verdict.

Obi and his party filed a 51-ground appeal seeking similar reliefs.

APM, in its 10-ground appeal, seeks to void Tinubu’s election on the grounds that his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, was not validly nominated.

PDP and Atiku are contending that the judgment is against the weight of evidence.

The PEPC, they argued, “erred in law when it refused to uphold the mandatory electronic transmission of results for confirmation and verification of final results introduced by the Electoral Act 2022 for transparency and integrity of results in accordance with the principles of the Act”.

According to them, the Electoral Act introduced technology, particularly in the transmission and collation of results, to forestall manipulation and compromise.

In ground two, the appellants argued that the PEPC erred when, despite the clear provisions of enabling statutes, including the Constitution, the Electoral Act 2022, the Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections and the Manual for Election Officials, it still proceeded to hold that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) was not meant to be used to electronically transmit or transfer the results of the polling unit direct to the collation system.

They also faulted the PEPC for holding that the INEC Result Viewing portal (IRev) was not a collation system.

The appellants faulted the PEPC for holding that the requirement of electronic transmission of the result directly from the polling units to the INEC collation system is not an Electoral Act requirement.

They faulted the PEPC for failing “to nullify the presidential election held on 25th February 2023 on the ground of non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2022 when, by the evidence before the court, the first respondent (INEC) conducted the election based on very grave and gross misrepresentation, contrary to the principles of the Electoral Act 2022, based on the ‘doctrine of legitimate expectation.’”

The PDP and Atiku are also praying the Supreme Court to allow their appeal, set aside the judgment of the PEPC and grant the reliefs as contained in their petition.

The cases of Obi, LP, APM

Obi and the LP are praying the apex court to set aside the tribunal judgment and grant the reliefs in their petition.

They contended that the PEPC erred in law and occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice when they held that the onus was on them to prove that INEC failed to comply with the mandatory requirements of Sections 73(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

According to Obi and the LP, “the learned Justices of the court below erred in law and came to a perverse decision when they held that PW3, PW4, PW, PW6, PW7, PW8, PW9, PW10, PW11 and P’W13 were not witnesses of the court, but those of the appellants, who had paid fees for the issuance of the subpoena”.

They added the trial Justices erred in law when they held that Exhibit X2, a copy of the European Union Election Observation Mission Report, was certified by the Registry of the Court of Appeal and not by the Observation Mission, which is the custodian of the original copy.

The APM, in its appeal, is contending that the PEPC erred in law “when it wrongfully waved aside the allegation that Tinubu’s running mate and Vice President, Kashim Shettima, was nominated twice for different positions by the APC, in relation to the 2023 general elections.

The party is also contending that it was wrong for the PEPC to dismiss its case against Tinubu’s election on the premise that it was not only incompetent but contained pre-election issues.

It argued that sections 131 and 142 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, were inextricably linked “and neither can be confined as a pre-election matter, as these qualifications are condition precedents to being elected to the office of President.”

APM added: “The appellant’s petition was not one founded solely on nomination, but primarily that the third respondent (Tinubu) contested the presidential election without a lawful associate running as his Vice President.

“The withdrawal of (Mr. Ibrahim Masari), the fifth respondent and the expiry of the 14 days permissible for changing a withdrawn or dead candidate under Section 33 of the Electoral Act 2022 made the third respondent’s election and return invalid.”

APM argued that the PEPC abandoned its duty and jurisdiction of hearing and determining the question of whether President Tinubu and Vice President Shettima were validly elected under the law, given provisions of Section 239(1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

The APM wants the highest court to hold that the PEPC focused on technical issues rather than determining whether Tinubu and Shettima were qualified.