Atiku decries tribunal’s delay in releasing judgment copies
PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar reacting to the judgment delivered on Wednesday by the Presidential Election Petition Court on the 2023 presidential election. Pix: Twitter
• Obi sues For peace
Three days after its ruling on the February 25 presidential poll, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) has yet to provide counsel to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Certified True Copies (CTCs) of the judgment.
Special Assistant to Atiku on Public Communications, Phrank Shaibu, noted, yesterday: “This is coming as Atiku and his lawyers have just 14 days to file their appeal to the Supreme Court on the judgment.
“By not making available to Atiku and PDP the CTCs of the judgment for their filings at the Supreme Court, the PEPT is undermining Atiku’s and Nigerians quest for justice.”
Shaibu made this assertion in a statement Friday, while expressing the frustrations of Atiku and PDP in progressing with the filing of its appeal at the apex court.
He reminded the PEPC that it had made heavy weather at the delivery of its judgment on Wednesday that parties needed to adhere strictly to the time schedule set by the court.
“The PEPT is not oblivious that three precious days of the 14-day limit for parties to file their processes at the highest court have been wasted by the Appeal Court.
“We wish to remind the PEPT that it struck out the testimonies of some of the witnesses of Atiku during the litigation at the court of first instance because their statements on oath were filed out of time. And now, from all intents and purposes, the same court wants to have Atiku and PDP’s appeal to the Supreme Court disqualified by the reason of time deadline,” he noted.
Similarly, the PEPT judgment, which upheld the declaration of President Bola Tinubu as winner of the February 25 presidential election, has received heavy knocks from the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi.
Rejecting the ruling, Obi, yesterday, in Onitsha, Anambra State, vehemently disagreed with the judgment’s rationale and final conclusions.
He vowed to challenge the judgment through the appellate process, as permitted by the Constitution, in his capacity as a presidential candidate and on behalf of LP.
Although he acknowledged PEPT’s adherence to statutory timeframes and respect for the court’s views and rulings, he insisted that the PEPT is not the ultimate authority in the matter.
“The responsibility is now with the Supreme Court, which I have confidence in, to clear that the matter has not yet reached its logical conclusion.
“Our legal team has already received firm instructions to file an appeal against the PEPT’s decision. We are determined, in the pursuit of justice, not only for me but also for the multitude of our supporters across the nation, whose electoral mandate has been unjustly thwarted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),” he noted.
Obi, however, pointed out that electoral litigations could be significantly reduced, if INEC discharges its statutory functions transparently and fairly, lamenting that “when such bodies falter, as INEC did in this case, the judiciary becomes an imperative recourse.”
The former Anambra State governor, who retrieved his gubernatorial mandate through the courts, further urged Nigerians to maintain their focus, steadfastness and commitment to peace, as he emphasised the importance of adhering to the rule of law.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.