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Supreme Court Reserves Judgement on appeals filed by Atiku, Obi, APM against Tinubu’s victory (LIVE UPDATES)

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Atiku, Mr Obi and the APM all filed separate appeals to challenge the decision of the court which affirmed President Tinubu’s election.

A seven-member panel of the Supreme Court will today hear the appeals by Atiku Abubakar, and Peter Obi challenging the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court which affirmed President Bola Tinubu’s election.

Members of the panel, which have yet to be unveiled, will hear the appeals by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, the Labour Party’s Peter Obi, and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) challenging the election of Mr Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja headed by Haruna Tsammani had ruled that Atiku and Mr Obi failed to substantiate their separate claims of widespread electoral malpractices during the conduct of the 25 February presidential election by Nigeria’s electoral commission, INEC.

The court also dismissed another petition filed by the APM on the ground that the suit was lacking in merit.

Atiku, Mr Obi and the APM all filed separate appeals to challenge the decision of the court.

The issues raised in the appeals include the eligibility of President Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima’s candidacy for the election.

The appellants also raised the issue of Mr Tinubu’s inability to secure 25 per cent of valid votes cast in Abuja during the polls.

They are also contesting INEC’s failure to electronically transmit polling unit results to its Results Viewing (IReV) portal in real-time and allegations of vote manipulation in favour of Mr Tinubu.

Another key bone of contention before the seven-member panel of the Supreme Court is Mr Tinubu’s academic records which were obtained from the Chicago State University (CSU) in October by Atiku.

Atiku has already filed the president’s educational documents before the court, urging it to examine the authenticity of Mr Tinubu’s academic records from CSU.

However, Mr Tinubu’s lead lawyer, Wole Olanipekun, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), in court filings said Atiku and Mr Obi’s appeals lack substance.

Our team was at the Supreme Court to bring you live updates from today’s proceedings.

LIVE
9:04 a.m: A seven-member panel of the Supreme Court led byJohn Okoro files into the courtroom.

The seven-member panel are: John Okoro, Uwani Abba-Aji, Lawal Garba, Ibrahim Saulawa, Adamu Jauro, Tijjani Abubakar and Emmanuel Agim.

9:07 a.m: Court registrar calls Atiku’s appeal against Mr Tinubu.

09:10 a.m.: Chris Uche, a SAN, announces appearance for Atiku.

09:12 a.m: Abubakar Mahmoud, a SAN, announces legal representation for Nigeria’s electoral commission, INEC.

9:14 a.m: Wole Olanipekun, a SAN, announces appearance for Mr Tinubu.

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9.16 a.m: Akin Olujinmi, a SAN, announces legal representation for the APC.

9:18 a.m.: Chris Uche, a SAN, says the appeals are ripe for hearing.

Mr Uche says there are some pending interlocutory applications.

09:20 a.m.: Mr Uche moves a motion filed 6 October 2023.

He seeks five minutes of adumberation of the application.

We are praying fir an order of leave to present fresh evidence on appeal based on the deposition on oath from Chicago State University.

He says the application is predicated on 20 grounds and an affidavit of 20 paragraphs filed on behalf of Atiku.

Mr Uche says upon the receipt of counter-affidavit from Mr Tinubu, APC and INEC, we filed a written address dated 18 October.

Mr Uche adopts the application and urges the court to grant their request.

9.26 a.m.: He says the issue involving Mr Tinubu’s certificate is a weighty, grave and constitutional one, which the Supreme Court must decide. He urges the court to admit the fresh evidence of President Tinubu’s academic records from Chicago State University presented by Atiku.

He says the Supreme Court has a duty to take a look at Mr Tinubu’s records and reach a decision devoid of technicality.

9:28 a.m.: The presiding justice, Mr Okoro, asks Mr Uche whether the Supreme Court should rely on the Electoral Act or the Constitution.

In his response, Mr Uche says the issue about Mr Tinubu’s certificate is a constitutional matter which the court should look into.

9:29 a.m.: A member of the panel, Emmanuel Agim, asks Mr Uche to explain the nature of Atiku’s fresh documents he seeks to tender before the Supreme Court.

9:32 a.m. Justice Agim asks whether the testimony by CSU registrar was conducted in a court.

Justice Agim says from Mr Uche’s court filing, the testimony by the CSU registrar held in Atiku’s lawyer’s law office in the US.

9:35: am: Justice Agim says the CSU did not issue any letter discrediting Mr Tinubu’s certificate
“We are dealing with a matter that touches on the national unity of Nigeria,” the Justice adds.

9:36 a.m: Justice Okoro seeks clarification from Atiku’s lawyer, Mr Uche.

9.38a.m.: Mr Okoro asks Mr Uche why he wants the Supreme Court to brush aside constitutional provisions and entertain the fresh evidence.

09:39 a.m.: Mr Uche explains that Section 233 of the constitution gives the Supreme Court the power to entertain questions about whether a person has been properly elected.

9:43 a.m.: Mr Uche responds to the issue raised about the CSU proceedings.

“There is a slight distinction between proceedings in the US and the UK.
“In the US, that is how court proceedings are done.
“Mr Tinubu was represented by a US lawyer, but he did not object to the proceedings being held in Atiku’s lawyer’s office.”

Mr Uche says depositions are more effective than letters from the CSU authorities regarding the authenticity of Mr Tinubu’s academic records.

9:43 a.m: Justice Okoro says criminal matters have to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. But that in this case, there are two conflicting letters from the CSU – one authenticating the president’s certificate and another discrediting it. “Which do we rely on?” he asked.

Mr Uche refers the court to a letter earlier issued to Michael Enahoro-Ebah, a lawyer, who testified for Atiku against Mr Tinubu at the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja.

9:48 a.m.: INEC lawyer, Abubakar Mahmoud, asks the Supreme Court to dismiss Atiku’s application seeking to tender Mr Tinubu’s academic records.

9:49a.m.: Mr Olanipekun, who is Mr Tinubu’s lawyers, urges the Supreme Court to “dismiss this very unusual application” seeking to tender fresh evidence against Mr Tinubu.

He says the fresh evidence is not admissible.

Mr Olanipekun argues that the CSU depositions are dormant until the deponent comes to court and testify. INEC should have been a party at the deposition proceedings in the US, the lawyer says.

Mr Olanipekun further says the question of 180 days (the statutory period within which an election petition should be filed and determined) is clear. It is sacrosanct. It cannot be shifted. Therefore, Atiku cannot seek to tender fresh evidence at the Supreme Court.

9.51 a.m.: Mr Olanipekun wonders how the Supreme Court will compartmentalise Atiku’s fresh evidence. “This is an application in wonderland. It has no merit. We urge the court to dismiss.

“The courts are bound by the law, and the law is to be interpreted as it is,” he says.

10:a.m.: Akin Olujinmi addressesbthe Supreme Court.
“This application lacks merit, it is misconceived and we urge the court to dismiss it,” the APC lawyer says.

Mr Olujinmi adopts Mr Olanipekun’s arguments.

“You cannot smuggle in a document into the Supreme Court without first tendering same at the trial court,” the lawyer added.

10:04 a.m: Justice Okoro asks, “what do we do with the fresh evidence?”

Mr Olujinmi says the burden is on Atiku to prove why the fresh evidence should be admitted by the Supreme Court.

10:05 a.m: Mr Uche responds to Tinubu’s lawyers regarding the CSU proceedings.

10.06 a.m.: Mr Uche says the CSU depositions can be used in the Nigerian court.

10:11 a.m.: Mr Olanipekun informs the court of a motion his team filed on 7 October praying for the striking out of some of the appellants’ grounds of appeal.

10:12: a.m.: Chris Uche says, in opposition, that his team filed a counter-affidavit on 18 October. He says the counter-affidavit is accompanied by a written address.

“We urge the court to dismiss Mr Tinubu’s motion,” he adds.

10:14 a.m.: Supreme Court begins hearing of substantive appeal in Atiku’s case against Mr Tinubu.

Mr Uche adopts his court filings in the substantive appeal.

He urges the court to allow the appeal, and set aside the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court.

He says germane constitutional issues are involved in the appeal, therefore, the Supreme Court should critically examine the appeal.

10:17 a.m: INEC lawyer, Mr Mahmoud addresses the court.

He prays the court to dismiss the appeal as it lacks merit.

Mr Olanipekun jokingly points out the contradictions in Atiku’s prayers, where he prayed the court to disqualify Mr Tinubu as a candidate in the election, and in another breath, called for a rerun to be conducted between him and Mr Tinubu.

Courtroom erupted into laughter.

10:24 a.m.: Court rises for a five-minute recess.

10:52 a.m.: Mr Olanipekun addresses the court. He urges it to strike out APM’s grounds of appeal.

10:53 a.m.: APM lawyer said he filed a counter-affidavit to Mr Olanipekun’s motion seeking to strike out the appeal.

He prays the court to allow the appeal.

“What will you gain if you win this appeal,” Justice Okoro asks APM lawyer.

11:00 a.m: APM lawyer tries to justify the merit in his client’s case.

But he now moves to withdraw the appeal.

The APM lawyer says, “I apply to withdraw this appeal.”

INEC lawyer is not opposed to the withdrawal of the appeal.

APC’s and Tinubu’s lawyers also have no objection.

11:13 a.m.: Court calls Peter Obi’s appeal challenging Mr Tinubu’s election.

11:14: a.m.: Mr Obi’s lawyer, Livy Uzoukwu, a SAN, announces appearance.

11:16 a.m: Tinubu’s lawyer asks the court in a preliminary objection to dismiss Mr Obi’s appeal for lacking in merit.

11:22 a.m.: Mr Uzoukwu begins arguments in Mr Obi’s substantive appeal.

He adopts all court processes, urging it to allow the appeal.

11:23 a.m: INEC lawyer, Mr Mahmoud, says we filed a brief of argument.

“We humbly adopt all the arguments and urge my Lordships to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit,” Mr Mahmoud says.

11:26 a.m: Olanipekun argues Mr Tinubu’s case.

He adopts the court filings, praying the court to dismiss the appeal.

11:27 a.m.: APC lawyer, Mr Olujinmi also adopts his client’s brief of argument.

He urges the court to dismiss the appeal for being un-meritorious.

11: 30 a.m.: “This appeal is reserved for judgement until a date to be communicated to parties,” Justice Okoro says.

(Source: Premium Times)

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Supreme Court Victory: Atiku Felicitates with Governors Fubara and Kefas

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* Asks Nigerians to Always Seek Lawful Means in Seeking Redress

By Ojone Grace Odaudu

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has felicitated with Governors Simi Fubara of Rivers State and Agbu Kefas of Taraba State respectively on the affirmation of their electoral victories by the Supreme Court.

In a post on his ‘X’ handle, the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections described the victory as not only for the governors, but also the Peoples Democratic Party, the Nigerian electorate and all lovers of democracy and justice.

He enjoined all Nigerians to be vigilant and to always rely on lawful means in seeking redress as he has always done.

The post:

“I celebrate with governors @SimFubaraKSC of Rivers State and @GovAgbuKefas of Taraba State, whose victory at last year’s gubernatorial election polls were unanimously affirmed today by the Supreme Court. No doubt this is not just personal victory but victory for the PDP family, the Nigerian electorate, and all lovers of Democracy and Justice.

Indeed, their victory has reinforced the hope of the survival of our democracy, which citizens are getting disillusioned and disenchanted with the APC’s win-at-all-cost policy and brazen disregard for the rule of law.

I enjoin all Nigerians to be vigilant and to always rely on lawful means in seeking redress as I have always done, and by the grace of God, we shall triumph.

Accept my congratulations, Your Excellencies. -AA”

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BREAKING! Supreme Court Upholds Election of Sanwo-Olu, Bala Mohammed, Reverses Nullification of Yusuf’s

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The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed the elections of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, effectively killing the appeals filed by the governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party in the state.

Similarly, the apex court also upheld the election of Bauchi State governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, ruling against the appeal by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress,

In a twist of fates, the court upturned the verdict of the court of appeal which nullified the election of Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State, saying that the appellate court’s decision to uphold the tribunal’s earlier decision was wrong.

– Supreme Court Affirms Dauda Lawal’s Election As Zamfara Governor

Supreme Court also reversed the sack of Caleb Mutfwang as the duly elected governor of Plateau State

Details of Friday’s judgments on Eight Governorship elections soon….

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Kogi Inaugurates New LG Caretaker Chairmen

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By Christopher Sunday in Lokoja

The recently appointed Caretaker Committees for the 21 Local Government Areas in Kogi State have been sworn-in in Lokoja.

Administering the oath of office, Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Secrecy to the appointees, Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folashade Arike charged them to be focused on service delivery, while their loyalty should lie with the people and the government of Kogi State.

Dignitaries at the swearing-in event

She told them that their new positions are of high responsibility and not for self aggrandisement and oppression of the people they are meant to serve.

The event drew a large crowd of supporters from all the local government areas and party faithfuls, including members of the state and national assembly.

The newly inaugurated Caretaker Chairmen include:
Hon, Rasheed Bashiru Okatengwu – Adavi LGA

Hon. Haruna Aliyu Ogido – Ajaokuta LGA

Adamu Yahaya Mohammed – Ankpa LGA

Theophilus Adama – Bassa LGA

John Urah – Dekina LGA

Hon. Emmanuel Uge – Ibaji LGA

Amade Egwuda Ochijenu – Idah LGA

Hon. Cosmas Attabor Ilemona – Igalamela-Odolu LGA

Ibrahim Haruna – Ijumu LGA

Barr. Zaccaeus Dare Michael – Kabba-Bunu LGA

Hon Musa Abdulmalik – Kogi LGA

Hon. Abdullahi Adamu – Lokoja LGA

Hon. Ademola Bello – Mopa-Muro LGA

Hassan Atawodi – Ofu LGA

Hon. Rosemary Ohiezu – Ogori-Magongo LGA

Hon. Monday Amoke Odu – Okehi LGA

Hon. Enesi Ahmed Nuhu – Okene LGA

Ameh Williams O – Olamaboro LGA

Edibo Ameh Mark – Omala LGA

Dare Joshua Venza – Yagba West LGA

Hon. Tosin Olokun – Yagba EAST LGA

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