Atiku, Obi appeal PEPT’s judgment at Supreme Court

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abubakar Atiku, and his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi, have filed appeals at the Supreme Court, seeking the nullification of the Presidential Election Petition Court’s judgment which upheld the declaration of President Bola Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential polls.

The notice of appeal filed by Atiku’s lead counsel, Chris Uche, urged the apex court to set aside the tribunal’s ruling, predicating his argument on 35 grounds.

He argued that the tribunal, in the judgment delivered by its chairman, a Justice, Haruna Simon Tsammani, made significant errors in its ruling.

Atiku said the court erred by not annulling the presidential election result.

He pointed out the grounds of non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2022, emphasizing that the evidence before the court showed that INEC conducted the election with “severe and significant” misrepresentation. This, he argued, contradicted the Electoral Act 2022.

Obi’s appeal challenging Tinubu at the PEPC was filed on Tuesday, September 19.

In a 51-grounds notice of appeal by his lead counsel, Livy Uzoukwu, Obi challenged the decision of the presidential election tribunal.

Obi’s appeal is referenced and titled Petition No: CA/PEPC/03/2023 MR. Peter Gregory Obi & Anor. v. Independent National Electoral Commission & ORS.

On September 6, the tribunal upheld the election of President Bola Tinubu and dismissed Atiku, Obi, and the Allied People’s Movement (APM) petitions against his victory.

The five-man panel of justices said the petitions filed against Tinubu by the parties were without merit.

“Having concluded and decided that all three petitions are all devoid of merit, the petitions are hereby dismissed,” the panel announced.

The ICIR had, on March 1, reported how INEC declared Tinubu as the winner of the February 25 election.

According to INEC, Tinubu secured 8,794,726 votes to come first, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP finished second with 6,984,520, while Obi polled 6,101,533 to go third.






     

     

    Although the tension that followed the announcement of the result was very high, APC has continued to hold that Tinubu’s victory was valid and that the election was free and fair.

    In his petition before the tribunal, Obi had stated that there was rigging in 11 states, and he promised to prove it based on the uploaded results on INEC’s server.

    He further claimed that Tinubu “was not duly elected by a majority of the lawful votes cast at the time of the election”.

    The ICIR, in a report on Sunday, September 17, looked at options before Obi and Atiku after the Tribunal struck out of their respective case.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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