- The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, has asked the Supreme Court to declare him winner of the February 23 presidential election.
This is coming as the All Progressives Congress (APC) has filed motions challenging sections of the September 11 presidential election tribunal judgment, and seeking the nullification of evidence proffered by the PDP and accepted by the tribunal.
Atiku’s request was contained in a joint appeal with his party, PDP, against the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), which dismissed their petition for being incompetent and lacking in merit.
A copy of the appeal, which was filed on Monday as exclusively reported on Sunday by THSDAY, was obtained yesterday.
The five-man panel in the lead judgment delivered by its Chairman, Justice Mohammed Garba, held that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations against President Muhammadu Buhari, whose declaration as winner of the election they are challenging, and the conduct of the election.
But Atiku and PDP in a 95-page document containing 66 grounds of appeal, urged the Supreme Court to set aside all the decisions of the tribunal because it erred in reaching the conclusion that the petitioners failed to prove their case against the respondents.
The petitioners had hinged their case on the grounds that Buhari lied on oath in his Form CF001 submitted to INEC to aid his clearance for the presidential election.
They have also alleged irregularities and substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act and guidelines during the poll.
Respondents in the petition include the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In the appeal filed against the upholding of Buhari’s election by the tribunal, the petitioners said the panel erred in law by holding that Buhari was eminently qualified to contest the poll. They also accused the panel of descending into the arena to defend Buhari.
They accused the justices of making use of evidence never pleaded or led at the trial by any of the respondents and sometimes credited statements to the petitioners’ witnesses, which were never made.
For example they submitted that, “there was no evidence at the trial that schooling at the Military Training School was “higher than Secondary School Certificate education.”