More Than One Month After Judgement: Supreme Court Denies Labour Party Access To Presidential Election Judgement Certified True Copy
The Labour Party has accused the Supreme Court of denying it access to the Presidential Election Judgement Certified True Copy.
the leadership of the Labour Party on Tuesday raised the alarm that the party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, have yet to receive the Certified True Copy of the Supreme Court judgment that affirmed President Bola Tinubu as the winner of the February 25th presidential election.
This Nigeria news platform understands that the emerging opposition party in Nigeria claimed that the apex court did not deliver a judgment on Obi’s case against Tinubu, describing the situation as embarrassing and depressing.
Recalls that the supreme court had on October 26th ended the 171-day legal tussle with the rejection of the election appeals filed by Obi and his Peoples Democratic Party counterpart, Atiku Abubakar.
In the lead judgment delivered by the Chairman of the seven-man panel, Justice Inyang Okoro, the apex court refused to consider the academic records of the President obtained from the Chicago State University, which Atiku sought to tender as fresh evidence to prove his allegation of certificate forgery against the ex-Lagos governor.
The other justices on the panel-Uwani Aji, Mohammed Garba, Ibrahim Saulawa, Adamu Jauro, Abubakar Tijjani, and Emmanuel Agim, agreed with the lead judgment dismissing Atiku and Obi’s appeals.
But one month after the judgment, the party’s National Secretary, Umar Farouk, lamented that they have yet to receive the CTC of the verdict.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Farouk also stated that the party found the position taken by the apex court regarding the judgment in her appeal ‘extraordinary, terribly shocking, most unprecedented and unacceptable.’
He said, “The LP had, out of an abundance of caution, by letter dated October 27, 2023, applied to the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court for the certified true copy of the judgment in the LP appeal. There was a reminder through another letter on November 8, 2023. However, to date, the requests have been ignored.
“The LP is also aware that by the provision of Section 294(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), every court established under the Constitution (which necessarily includes the Supreme Court) has a duty to furnish all parties to the cause or matter determined with duly authenticated copies of the decision within seven days of the delivery thereof. The Supreme Court has failed to do this in the present appeal.
“In conclusion, the LP finds it very embarrassing and depressing that the Supreme Court would, after hearing the appeal by our party, refuse to deliver any judgment and also fail to avail our party of any copy of whatever it considers to be its decision. This constitutes an unmitigated breach of the constitutional right of LP and her candidate to a fair hearing.”
According to him, the only area where the relevant parties agreed in the two appeals was 25 per cent votes in Abuja, noting that the other issues submitted to the Supreme Court for determination in the two appeals differed remarkably.
The LP secretary also expressed regret that the court failed to give a second thought to the grounds for appeal they raised such as the forfeiture of funds being proceeds of narcotics trafficking contained in the LP petition; double nomination of the 3rd Respondent (who was not even a party in the PDP petition) and failure to comply with the mandatory requirement of Section 73(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022, the consequence of which allegedly renders the election invalid.
Other sources of concerns Farouk raised was the Supreme Court’s refusal to consider the implication of the certified true copies of 18,123 blurred and unreadable polling unit result sheets they tendered in court after they were downloaded from the result viewing portal and the ones issued to the party and its candidate by the Independent National Electoral Commission.