For Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party, the party is over as the Supreme Court today affirmed President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the polls.
The seven-man panel of the apex court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Tanko Mohammed said the panel agreed that there is no merit in the appeal filed by Alhaji Abubakar and his party, the PDP.
The judgement which was unanimously consented to by the other six members of the panel came less than an hour after the court took arguments on the appeal. Other members of the panel are Justices Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, Olukayode Ariwoola, John Inyang Okoro, Ejembi Eko and Uwani Musa Abba-Aji.
At the hearing of the appeal, counsel to President Buhari, Chief Wole Olanipekun said ‘‘apart from the films and hypes being made about this appeal, there is nothing in this case. Law is not about sentiment, it is not entertainment. The Supreme Court is not a picnic center.
‘‘Assuming there was even a server, under the Evidence Act, it will qualify as a public document which ought to have been tendered. They didn’t tender any document on this.’’
Concurring with the president’s counsel, lawyer to the All Progressives Congress, APC, Lateef Fagbemi, urged the Supreme Court to throw out Atiku/PDP’s appeal.
Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Yunus Usman, urged the court to dismiss the PDP’s submissions. He said the amendment of Section 52(2) of the Electoral Act implies that INEC has the discretion on how to transmit election results.
He argued that across the 191,000 polling units in the presidential election, Atiku’s lawyers were only able to only call five polling agents as witnesses.
The CJN said that “the panel had read all the documents and exhibits filed in the case for two weeks and found the appeal to be lacking in merit.”
Details of the judgement were reserved for a later date.
Abubakar and the PDP had filed an appeal at the Supreme Court after the presidential election tribunal dismissed their original petition.
The tribunal ruled against the PDP on the core issues it raised about the February presidential election. They had argued that Buhari lied on oath about his educational qualification and that the high school that he said he attended did not exist at the dates stated. They also argued that the electoral commission manipulated the result of the election.