BREAKING: Supreme Court reserves judgement on Obi’s appeal against Tinubu


The Supreme Court has reserved its judgement on the appeal
the candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Mr. Peter Obi, filed to challenge the
outcome of the presidential election that was held on February 25.


A seven-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Inyang
Okoro, okayed the matter for judgement, after all the parties adopted their
briefs of argument.


While Obi and the LP, through their lawyers led by Dr. Livy
Uzoukwu, SAN, urged the court to uphold the appeal and set aside the judgement
of the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, that dismissed their


The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,
President Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress, APC, through their
respective lawyers, prayed the court to dismiss the appeal for want of merit.




The panel said it would communicate the judgement date to
all the parties.


Obi, who came third in the election, had in his 51 grounds
of appeal, maintained that the PEPC panel erred in law and thereby reached a
wrong conclusion when it dismissed his petition.


He alleged that the panel wrongly evaluated the proof of
evidence he adduced before it and occassioned a grave miscarriage of justice
when it held that he did not specify polling units where irregularities occured
during the election.


Obi and the LP further faulted the PEPC for dismissing their
case on the premise that they did not specify the figures of votes or scores
that were allegedly suppressed or inflated in favour of President Tinubu and
the APC.


They accused the Justice Haruna Tsammani-led PEPC panel of
erring in law when it relied on paragraph 4(1) (d) (2) and 54 of the First
Schedule to the Electoral Act 2022 to strike out paragraphs of the petition.

While accusing the lower court of breaching his right to
fair hearing, Obi insisted that evidence of his witnesses were wrongly dismissed
as incompetent.


He told the apex court that the panel unjustly dismissed his
allegation that INEC uploaded 18, 088 blurred results on its IReV portal.


More so, Obi, alleged that the lower court ignored his
allegation that certified true copies of documents that INEC issued to his
legal team, comprised of 8, 123 blurred results that contained blank A4 papers,
pictures and images of unknown persons, purporting same to be the CTC of
polling units results of the presidential election.


“The learned justices of the court below erred in law and
occasioned a miscarriage of justice when they held and concluded that he failed
to establish the allegation of corrupt practices and over-voting,” Obi added.


He said it was wrong for the lower court to rely on the legal
principle of estoppel to dismiss his contention that INEC bypassed its own
regulations when it refused to electronically transmit results of the election
from polling units to the IReV.


“The petitioners addicted 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 court below overlooked that the Respondents failed to
disprove the evidence of substantial non-compliance adduced by the
petitioners,” the Appellants stated, adding that the panel wrongfully dismissed
the issue of double nomination that was raised against Tinubu’s Vice President,
Kashim Shettima.


Likewise, Obi insisted that the PEPC overlooked evidence
that established that President Tinubu was previously indicted and fined the
sum of $460, 000 in the USA over his involvement in a drug related case.


“Imposition of a fine is not limited to a criminal
conviction, as the word, in law, includes a civil forfeiture,” Obi further
argued in his appeal.


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