By Sabiu Abdullahi
The Supreme Court has announced Monday, October 23, as the date for delivering judgment on the appeal filed by Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), challenging the verdict of the Presidential Tribunal.
The tribunal had earlier affirmed the victory of President Bola Tinubu, who was declared the winner of the February 25 election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Atiku, who secured the second position in the election, approached the court after his initial suit was struck out.
In his appeal before the highest court in the land, Atiku’s lead counsel, Chris Uche, SAN, filed a 35-ground notice of appeal, arguing that the tribunal’s judgment contained a “grave error.”
He contended that the tribunal failed to nullify the presidential election due to non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022, citing evidence of grave misrepresentation by INEC, which violated the principles of the Electoral Act 2022 based on the “doctrine of legitimate expectation.”
Additionally, Atiku sought to present fresh evidence related to a certificate suit he instituted against Tinubu in the US, alleging that Tinubu forged documents submitted to INEC.
Atiku affirmed the seriousness of presenting forged documents, especially by a candidate aspiring for the highest office in the country, calling it a “grave constitutional issue” that must not be overlooked.
Tinubu, in response, urged the Supreme Court to dismiss Atiku’s application, labeling it a “crass abuse of court processes.”
However, Atiku countered, urging the court to consider the substance of his claims rather than technicalities, emphasizing the importance of addressing the constitutional concerns raised by the alleged forgery.