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Peter Obi. Atiku get Certified True Copy, prepare appeal
 
By: News Editor
Sat, 9 Sep 2023   ||   Nigeria,
 

The legal teams of the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party and Labour Party in the February 25, 2023 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi respectively, on Friday confirmed that they had received the Certified True Copies of the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court.

The PEPC had on Wednesday delivered a 12-hour judgment on the appeals arising from the presidential election, upholding the election of President Bola Tinubu.

Atiku and Obi had rejected the court’s judgment, vowing to approach the Supreme Court.

Obi’s lead counsel, Dr Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), disclosed to one of our correspondents on the telephone that he had received a copy of the judgment.

“I have a copy of the judgment; they are scanning it at the moment,” he said.

Also, Atiku’s lead counsel, Chris Uche (SAN), confirmed the development to Saturday to CEOAFRICA source .

“Yes; we have just received it,” he said while responding to a text message sent to him.

Atiku’s Special Assistant on Public Communications, Phrank Shaibu, had in a statement issued earlier on Friday slammed the PEPC for allegedly failing to release the certified copies of the judgment to the former vice president’s legal team.

“By not making available to Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, the Certified True Copies of the judgment of Wednesday for its filings at the Supreme Court, the Presidential Election Petition Court is undermining Atiku’s and Nigerians’ quest for justice,” Shaibu had claimed.

A copy of the judgment went viral on social media on Friday.

The 798-page document was signed by the Secretary of the PEPC and dated September 8, 2023.

Meanwhile, the Lamidi Apapa faction of LP has said the National Chairman, Julius Abure, and Obi failed to provide results of polling units at the tribunal because they did not pay party agents.

The faction’s spokesman, Abayomi Arabambi, said this in an interview with one of our correspondents.

Arabambi alleged that the majority of the agents went away with the result sheets of the polling units when the party failed to pay them their stipend of N10,000 as promised.

He described Obi’s plan to appeal the tribunal’s judgment as a waste of time and resources.

He said, “Ab initio, no (polling) agent was paid and I remember telling Nigerians it is something that may affect us after the election. None of my agents was paid. Out of the over 190,000 polling units, we only presented to INEC that we have agents in over 130,000. The remaining was not uploaded. Even in the 130,000 we had, no agent submitted his polling unit result to Peter Obi. We owed them N10,000 each.

“These people are not going to tell the world this truth. That was why the judges asked if we expected them to go and gather evidence for us from the market. You went to court without Form EC8 and those lawyers were unable to tabulate the total number of votes that Obi claimed he garnered. Those respected judges were so thorough and nobody should abuse them. They were only asking questions in line with the relevant Electoral Act and Constitution of Nigeria.

 

“If you were claiming you have the majority of votes counted, what did you score? They couldn’t tabulate or present it in line with the extant law of the land. That was what provoked the judges to even demand Obi’s actual score. Had it been they had the polling unit results, they could have gone ahead with the presentation to prove that LP had certain votes in some states. In this case, we know INEC cannot alter your Form EC8 except theirs. But had it been we paid all our agents, we wouldn’t have this problem.”

He added, “We have accepted Wednesday’s verdict at the tribunal and we are going back to the drawing board. Obi’s insistence on going to the Supreme Court despite the avalanche of exposition LP was subjected to at the Court of Appeal is quite unfortunate. He deserves our pity though.

“I believe that going to the Supreme Court is just a sheer waste of time. The apex court is not a court of first instance in the presidential election. The Appeal Court is and his lawyers need to tell him. If they fail to tell him, I am reminding Obi now that no fresh documents will be allowed in the Supreme Court. It is what you have that they are going to debate. No new thing can be introduced.”

Arabambi cautioned that it would amount to another waste of time if Obi’s lawyers make any attempt to bring up the issue of double nominations by Vice President Kashim Shettima because the case has been settled at the apex court.

Efforts made to get the reaction of Abure, the LP national chairman, were unsuccessful.

But the National Legal Adviser of LP, Kehinde Edun, chided Arabambi, stating that his account was not a reflection of what happened.

Edun said, “That (not paying agents) is a lie. What was required to prove our case was the one in INEC’s custody. For it to be admissible, it must come from the proper channel. So it is not true. The court also knew where these things were. We are only deceiving ourselves.

“We applied for INEC to produce them and the court gave an order. But INEC refused to bring them. It was as if INEC was at war with us. Everybody was under pressure including the court and INEC. The law is that you have to prove your case and the court is only concerned with what is before it.

“Nobody pays attention to the Apapa group. They are a group of suspended former members who are now doing the bidding of their paymasters. So it is expected they will be happy with the verdict of the tribunal. As far as we are concerned, they are not members or a faction of the Labour Party. They are an extension of the ruling party who they are working for. They are rejoicing with their paymaster.”

Obi’s media aide, Tai Obasi, said, “You know what the Apapa faction is all about. It is part of the old order we are fighting to change and struggling to ensure Nigeria becomes a new Nigeria. You can see those who don’t want things to be done right. Apapa and his group are the comedy aspect of the party.

 

“The fact is that you cannot stop halfway when you want to do something right. You have to see it to the end. The judgment at the tribunal was not right. That’s why we are heading to the Supreme Court.”

 

 

 

 

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