The primary opposition candidate within the simply concluded presidential election, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, will launch a robust authorized problem in opposition to President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling APC over allegations of irregularities within the election.
Courtroom of Attraction orders inspection of supplies
The Presidential Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting on the Courtroom of Attraction in Abuja has granted an utility by Atiku and the PDP for an order compelling INEC to grant them entry to make copies and certify paperwork and supplies used for the conduct of the election.
The pre-hearing ex parte utility was by their legal professionals, Levi Uzoukwu (SAN) and Chris Uche (SAN) and P.A. Akubo (SAN).
The panel presided over by Justice Abdul Aboki comprising Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim and Justice Peter Ige nevertheless refused the appliance by Atiku and PDP to be allowed to scan and conduct forensic evaluation of the paperwork.
The panel acknowledged that by the provisions of Part 151 (1) and (2) of the Electoral Act, INEC is simply anticipated to permit the candidates entry to examine and make copies of the paperwork and to be licensed as true copies by the electoral umpire.
Atiku and PDP had requested the panel to make the order compelling INEC to supply the voters register, the sensible card reader machines, poll papers, website again ends and different delicate supplies for inspection and scanning.
Citing the circumstances of Rauf Aregbosola versus Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Senator Hope Uzodinma versus Osita Izunaso the place the elections petitions tribunal made an order allowing the forensic examination of election supplies, the panel stated the order, which was made throughout listening to on the tribunal and never on the pre-hearing stage just like the Atiku case, was put aside by the Courtroom of Attraction as a result of the “order violated the fitting to truthful listening to by the opposite events underneath Part 36 of the 1999 Structure.”
“Forensic copies examination by forensic consultants can’t be considered an inspection of these paperwork inside the grounds of Part 151 of the Electoral Act as amended,” he stated.
When is the case more likely to be concluded?
Part 239 (1) of the 1999 Structure offers that the Courtroom of Attraction shall have unique and authentic jurisdiction to listen to and decide any query as as to whether the validity of an individual elected to the workplace of the President or Vice President. And sub-section (2) offers for its quorum as not less than three justices of the Courtroom of Attraction.
The petition should be introduced inside 21 days of the reason for motion, whereas the time restrict for the willpower of such petitions in keeping with Part 134 (2) and (3) of the Electoral Act, 2010 will probably be decided inside 180 days (six months). The place there may be additional enchantment to the Supreme Courtroom, such an enchantment should be made inside 60 days of the Courtroom of Attraction or tribunal judgment.
Each camps arrange robust authorized groups
Already, the 2 political events have begun to assemble a robust staff of attorneys to satisfy in courtroom in what seems to be an epic battle. The APC is making an attempt to woo Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and Akin Olujimi (SAN) to hitch others like Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) and Festus Keyamo (SAN) on the authorized turf.
The PDP has constituted a robust authorized staff together with Tanimu Turaki (SAN), Levi Uzoukwu (SAN), Chris Uche (SAN), P.A. Akubo (SAN) and Paul Erokoro (SAN) amongst a number of others.
The pedigree of those senior legal professionals is undoubted, and their names are synonymous with many profitable election petitions which have helped to strenghten our electoral and constitutional democracy.
The candidates as veterans of authorized wars
One of many attention-grabbing features of the election petition is that the principle actors of the 2 camps are veterans of authorized wars. Whereas Buhari had challenged all of the earlier election outcomes by which he misplaced as much as the Supreme Courtroom, Atiku had additionally challenged his removing from workplace as vp in 2003 and the query of presidential candidacy as much as the Supreme Courtroom following his disqualification as candidate of the Motion Congress (AC) in 2007.
President Buhari then of the All Nigeria Progressives Occasion (ANPP) contested the results of the April 2003 presidential election which returned Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP as winner. However in a cut up judgment of three to at least one, the Courtroom of Attraction in Abuja dismissed the petition and unanimously canceled the election end in Ogun State the place a sure ethnic group was prevented from voting amid irregularities and non-compliance with Part 134 (1) (b) of the Electoral Act and alleged voter intimidation by the navy and police. There was a minority determination by Justice Nsofor.
Buhari once more challenged the results of the 2007 presidential election received by Umar Musa Yar’Adua notably, the non-serialisation of the poll papers which he claimed considerably affected the election end result in opposition to him. However he misplaced on the Supreme Courtroom by 4 to 3 of the panel justices.
He once more challenged the result of the 2011 presidential election as candidate of the in opposition to PDP’s Goodluck Jonathan. And on the Supreme Courtroom, the results of the election was upheld.
In the course of the 2007 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar’s AC was disqualified by INEC based mostly on a federal authorities white paper indicting him on alleged corruption. When Atiku challenged the motion of the electoral umpire, the Supreme Courtroom agreed with him that whereas Part 21 (8) (9) of the Electoral Act, 2002 empowers INEC to disqualify candidates, Part 32 (4) (5) off the Electoral Act, 2006 vested such powers on the courts. It subsequently restored Atiku’s candidacy.
The problem of the removing of the vp from workplace following his battle with then president, Olusegun Obasanjo and his defection to the AC after their first time period was one other case. This took Atiku as much as the Supreme Courtroom in 2004. The apex courtroom held that by the provisions of Sections 142 and 143, the tactic for the removing of the vp is just not much like the holiday of seat for members of the Nationwide Meeting after they defect from their sponsoring political celebration.
The working mates of each camps, Prof Yemi Osinbajo and Peter Obi, will not be new to election and constitutional litigations. As an illustration, Osinbajo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who because the Commissioner for Justice and Lawyer Common of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007, initiated a number of fits on contentious constitutional questions.
One of many fits is go well with quantity: SC.353/2001 between the AG, Lagos and AG of the Federation which centred on the powers of the state to manage city and regional planning.
It was instituted in 2001 by the Lagos State authorities to amongst others, problem the constitutionality or in any other case of the City and Regional Planning Act, 1992. The choice was made in favour of the states.
Osinbajo additionally in 2001 led the Lagos staff within the case of the eight littoral states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross-River, Delta, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Rivers difficult the place of the federal authorities that pure assets situated inside the continental shelf of Nigeria will not be derivable to the states. However the Supreme Courtroom in that go well with dominated that the low-water mark of the land floor is the restrict for figuring out income accruals to the states as per Part 162(2) of the 1999 Structure.
On his half, Peter Obi was a dogged and resolute fighter even throughout his tenure as governor of Anambra State the place he received 4 landmark judgments. He was first elected in 2003 underneath the platform of APGA however PDP’s Chris Ngige was declared winner. Obi’s mandate was restored by the Courtroom of Attraction on March 15, 2006. However on November 2, 2006, he was impeached by the state Home of Meeting over unsubstantiated allegations and his deputy, Dame Virgy Etiaba, was sworn in. However he was once more reinstated by the Courtroom of Attraction on February 9, 2007.
Following the victory of Andy Uba within the Might 29, 2007 governorship election, Obi returned to the Supreme Courtroom contending that the tenure he received in 2003 solely began working in March 2006. On June 14, 2007 the Supreme Courtroom upheld his argument and returned him to workplace. Obi’s tenure then ran undisturbed until March 2010 when he received a re-election until March, 2014 when he handed over to Willie Obiano.
Atiku has proper to go to courtroom – Legal professionals
There have been preliminary misgivings over Atiku’s determination to problem the results of the February 23 presidential elections. However legal professionals say it’s inside his constitutional proper to go to courtroom.
Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) stated he initially suggested Atiku to not go to courtroom as a result of he felt he wouldn’t get justice.
“It’s clear to me that the presidential election outcomes have been manifestly riddled with electoral irregularities. Now that former vp Atiku Abubakar has approached the courtroom, you will need to emphasise that he’s constitutionally entitled to take action,” he stated.
Additionally, Abuja based mostly human rights lawyer, Hamid Ajibola Jimoh, stated the Electoral Act has provisions for politicians to train their discretion of both approaching the courts to redress or settle for the election’s final result in good religion.