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Atiku, Obi Ask Supreme Court To Void Presidential Election Petition Judgement

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and his counterpart in the Labour Party (LP), Peter has Obi, have filed appeal at the Supreme Court seeking to nullify the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) which affirmed President Bola Tinubu’s victory at the February 25th presidential poll.

A five-member panel of the PEPC led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, had on 6th September, dismissed the three petitions challenging Tinubu’s election.

The court had held that Atiku and Peter Obi, failed to prove in their separate suits, allegations of electoral fraud against Nigeria’s electoral commission, INEC and Tinubu.

But in a notice of appeal premised on 35 grounds, Atiku through his team of lawyers, led by Chris Uche, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), argued that the PEPC’s judgement occasioned “grave error and miscarriage of justice” in its legal reasoning by upholding Tinubu as president.

In court filings dated 18 September at the Supreme Court, Uche contended that the presidential election court failed to adequately evaluate Atiku’s evidence before reaching its conclusions.

The lawyer faulted the court’s use of “disparaging words” against Atiku which “evinced bias.”

In another ground of the appeal, Uche drew the apex court’s attention to the PEPC’s conclusions on the grounds that it “did not represent the true picture of the grounds of his petition” during trial.

He further contended that amongst other issues that the presidential election court erred in law when it “failed to nullify the presidential election held on February 25, 2023 on the grounds of non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022, when by evidence before the tribunal, 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.”

In addition, the appellant urged the court to set aside the decision of the lower which affirmed Tinubu’s victory.

He urged the court to declare that President Tinubu did not secure majority of lawful votes cast during the presidential election on 25 February, 2023.

The former Vice President also prayed the court to hold that Tinubu was not qualified to vie for Nigeria’s Presidency at the time he did on account of his conviction in the US for alleged drugs trafficking.

Meanwhile, Obi, in his 51 grounds of appeal filed on Tuesday, argued that the PEPC, erred in law to dismissed his petition challenging the declaration of President Tinubu by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as winner of the election.

“The learned justices of the court below erred in law and occasioned a miscarriage of justice when they held and concluded that he failed to establish the allegation of corrupt practices and over-voting”, Obi argued.

Obi also contended that the court wrongly occassioned a grave miscarriage of justice against him, when it held that he did not specify polling units where irregularities occurred during the election.

He accused the Justice Tsammani-led panel of erring in law when it relied on paragraph 4(1) (d) (2) and 54 of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act 2022 to strike out paragraphs of his petition.

While accusing the lower court of breaching his right to fair hearing, Obi, insisted that evidence of his witnesses were wrongly dismissed as incompetent.

He told the apex court that the panel unjustly dismissed his allegation that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, uploaded 18, 088 blurred results on its IReV portal.

Obi also alleged that the lower court ignored his allegation that certified true copies of documents that INEC issued to his legal team, comprised of 8, 123 blurred results that contained blank A4 papers, pictures and images of unknown persons, purporting same to be the CTC of polling units results of the presidential election.



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