The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 25 election, Atiku Abubakar and that of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, yesterday filed separate grounds of appeals at the Supreme Court seeking nullification of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s election.
Recall that after the presidential election, Atiku and Obi in their separate petitions at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja, prayed the court to nullify Tinubu’s election over alleged irregularities.
But the five-member panel of the tribunal led by Justice Haruna Tsammani struck out their petitions, and declared Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the valid winner of the February 25 election.
Atiku and the PDP who filed 35 grounds of appeal yesterday through their lawyers said the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) erred in law by not taking into cognisance the Doctrine of Legitimate Expectation when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to conduct the election in accordance with its own guidelines and the Electoral Act 2022.
They requested the apex court to void and set aside the September 6 judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court, which upheld the declaration of Tinubu as president by the INEC on March 1.
In the Notice of Appeal, Atiku prayed the Supreme Court to declare him the authentic winner of the February 25 presidential election based on lawful votes cast by Nigerians during the poll.
He said in the alternative, the apex court should order a rerun election to be conducted for him and Tinubu being the 1st and 2nd runners up in the last presidential election.
The former vice president contended that the tribunal made a grave error and miscarriage of justice in striking out the witness statement on oath and the entire evidence of his subpoenaed witnesses on the erroneous grounds that the said statements were not filed along with the petition.
He said the subpoenaed witnesses were essentially persons whose witness statements on oath could not practically be ready and available at the time of preparing and filing of his petition.
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for hearing in the appeal.
Obi files 50 grounds of appeal
Similarly, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has appealed against the tribunal judgement which upheld the victory of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Obi, in a 50-grounds notice of appeal by his lead counsel, Dr Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), challenged the decision of the Presidential Election Tribunal which struck out his petition.
The notice of appeal reads in part, “Take notice that the Appellants being dissatisfied with the decisions in petition No: CA/PEPC/03/2023 MR PETER GREGORY OBI & ANOR. v. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION & ORS. (consolidated with Election Petition Nos: CA/PEPC/04/2023 and CA/PEPC/05/2023), contained in pages 3-327 of the Judgment of the Court of Appeal sitting as the Presidential Election Petition Court, Holden at Abuja, Coram: H. S. Tsammani, Stephen Jonah Adah, Misitura Omodere Bolaji-Yusuff, Boloukuroma Moses Ugo and Abba Bello Mohammed, JJ.C.A. (‘the Court below’) delivered on the 6th day of September, 2023, and more particularly stated in paragraph 2 of this Notice of Appeal, do hereby appeal to the Supreme Court on the Grounds set out in Paragraph 3 and will at the hearing of the appeal seek the Reliefs sought in paragraph 4 herein.”