Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), has filed an appeal at the Supreme Court seeking to overturn the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) affirming Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s emergence as President.
Recall that his counterpart, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, filed his appeal to challenge the PEPC’s verdict delivered on 6 September.
In his notice of appeal dated 19 September, Obi’s lead counsel, Livy Uzoukwu, predicated his client’s appeal to the Supreme Court on 51 grounds.
Uzoukwu, in one of the grounds, told the Supreme Court that the five-member panel of the Presidential Election Petition Court led by Haruna Tsammani “erred in law and thereby reached a wrong conclusion” when it dismissed Obi’s suit.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria also faulted the presidential election court’s evaluation of Obi’s evidence.
He said the court erroneously ruled that Obi’s case failed to establish the polling stations where electoral malpractices took place during the February presidential election.
The lawyer also said the lower court’s conclusions caused “grave miscarriage of justice” when it held that the LP candidate did not identify the specific number of votes he polled at polling units where he accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Tinubu of suppression of votes.
The appellant’s lawyer further urged the Supreme Court to determine if the presidential election court did not err in law when it based its reasons on the First Schedule of the Electoral Act 2022 to expunge Obi’s witnesses’ statements on oath from the court’s records.
The appellant also faulted the presidential election court’s decision rejecting his contention that INEC circumvented its own regulations and guidelines when it refused to electronically transmit results of the election from polling stations to the results viewing portal.
“The petitioners adduced credible and substantial evidence, both oral and documentary, that proved substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2022 by the Respondents in the conduct of the election,” the notice of appeal read in part.
Arguing further, the appellant alleged that Tinubu was not qualified to vie for the election on account of improper nomination of his Vice-Presidential choice.
Uzoukwu, said “the court below overlooked that the respondents failed to disprove the evidence of substantial non-compliance adduced by the petitioners.”
The appellant, in the filing, told the Supreme Court that the lower court ignored evidence that proved how Tinubu was indicted and fined $4,600, in the US for alleged cocaine trafficking in the 1990s.
Obi, who came third in the race, urged the court to either declare him president or order a fresh rerun election.
The presidential candidate and his party are expected to later file their joint appellant’s brief which will contain their full legal arguments.
INEC, Tinubu, and the All Progressives Congress will, in response, file their respective respondent’s briefs, before the Supreme Court will fix a date for hearing.