2023 Elections: Atiku, Obi Run to Supreme Court to Unseat Tinubu
By Adedapo Adesanya
The two leading opposition presidential candidates in the 2023 general elections, Mr Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party, on Tuesday, approached the Supreme Court to upturn the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), which on September 6, affirmed Mr Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the exercise held on Saturday, February 25.
Mr Atiku, in his Notice of Appeal predicated on 35 grounds, insisted that the tribunal, in the judgment delivered by Justice Haruna Tsammani, committed grave error and miscarriage of justice in its findings and conclusion in the petition challenging the declaration of Mr Tinubu as President by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Notice of Appeal filed by Mr Atiku’s lead counsel, Mr Chris Uche (SAN), prayed that the apex court set aside the whole findings and conclusions of the tribunal on the grounds that they did not represent the true picture of the grounds of his petition.
The former Vice President maintained that the tribunal erred in law when it failed to nullify the presidential poll.
He wants the election nullified on the grounds of non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2022, when by the 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”.
Mr Atiku alleged that the PEPC erred in law by not taking into cognisance the Doctrine of Legitimate Expectation when INEC failed to conduct the election in accordance with its own guidelines and the Electoral Act 2022.
On his part, Mr Obi, in a 50 grounds notice of appeal by his lead counsel, Mr Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), filed in the Supreme Court, challenged the decision of the presidential election tribunal, maintaining that it erred in law and thereby reached a wrong conclusion when it dismissed the petition he lodged to challenge the outcome of the presidential poll that was held on February 25.
Among other things, he contended that Justice Tsammani-led’s five-member panel of the Court of Appeal wrongly occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice against him when it held that he did not specify polling units where irregularities occurred during the election.
He further faulted the PEPC for dismissing his case on the premise that he did not specify the figures of votes or scores that were allegedly suppressed or inflated in favour of President Tinubu and the APC.
Mr Obi equally accused the Justice Tsammani-led panel of erring in law when it relied on paragraphs 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 a fair hearing, Mr Obi insisted that pieces of evidence of his witnesses were wrongly dismissed as incompetent.