Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar and his party have filed 35 grounds of appeal before the Supreme Court, seeking to quash the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) judgment which dismissed their bid to upturn the victory of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the February 25 presidential election.
Also yesterday, Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi and his party filed 51 grounds asking the Supreme Court to void the PEPC decision.
The candidates and their parties filed their appeals 48 hours ahead of todays’ deadline, the 14th day after the September 6 judgment by the Court of Appeal panel, sitting at the presidential election tribunal. The five-man panel was led by Justice Haruna Tsammani.
The verdict, which was unanimous declared the petitions by PDP, LP, the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and their candidates as unmeritorious, lacking a merit and for failure prove their cases beyond reasonable doubt.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the appeals, and the Supreme Court is yet to name the seven-man panel that will hear them.
Led by Dr Livy Uzokwu (SAN), Obi and his party filed appeal, praying the apex court to void Tinubu’s victory.
In the notice of appeal, the PDP and Atiku are contending, among others, that the judgment of the PEPC is against the weight of evidence.
They are equally contending that the PEPC “erred in law when it refused to uphold the mandatory electronic transmission of results for confirmation and verification of final results introduced by the Electoral Act 2022 for transparency and integrity of results in accordance with the principles of the Act.”
According to them, the Electoral Act 2022 introduced technology in the conduct of elections, particularly in the transmission and collation of results, being part of the election process easily susceptible to manipulation and compromise.
In ground two, the appellants argued that the PEPC erred when, despite the clear provisions of enabling statutes, including the constitution, the Electoral Act 2022, the Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections and the Manual for Election Officials, it still proceeded to hold that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) was not meant to be used to electronically transmit or transfer the results of the polling unit direct to the collation system.
The PDP and Atiku are also praying the Supreme Court to allow their appeal, set aside the judgment of the PEPC and grant the reliefs as contained in their petition.