Nigeria’s The Supreme Court on Thursday, ruled that the failure by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to transmit election results electronically did not affect the outcome of the election and could not warrant the nullification of the result of the presidential election.
Justice John Okoro, made the pronouncement in a lead judgment on the appeal by former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; and that of the candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, seeking to nullify the February 25, presidential election of President Bola Tinubu.
Okoro also dismissed the issue of the 25 per cent requirement for Abuja, as a none issue.
DISMISSES FRESH EVIDENCE
The Supreme Court also dismissed the motion by Abubakar, seeking leave of the court to file fresh evidence in his appeal against the victory of President Bola Tinubu, in the February 25, presidential election.
Ruling on the motion, Justice John Okoro, held that a clinical look at the issues formulated by all the parties is the argument of whether the court as presently constituted has the power to grant the motion.
Okoro held that out of the seven issues distilled by Atiku for determination, none related or covered forgery, which the appellant is seeking to bring in.
“The Constitution does not permit that, and this court has no jurisdiction to grant the filing of fresh evidence that was not pleaded at the PEPC”.
The Supreme Court noted that Atiku did not even deem it fit to file for an amendment of his pleadings and for extension of time, since the 180 days allowed by the Constitution had elapsed since September 17, 2023.
Atiku, had in the motion dated Oct. 5, pleaded the apex court to grant him leave to bring in additional evidence by way of depositions on oath from the Chicago State University for use in his appeal to wit: the certified discovery deposition made by Caleb Westberg on behalf of Chicago State University on October 3, 2023, disclaiming the certificate presented by the 2nd respondent, Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The 32-page deposition was released to the former Vice President on the orders of Judge Nancy Maldonado of the District Court of Illinois, Eastern Division, Illinois, United States of America.
The suit marked SC/ /2023 CA/PEPC/05/2023 was filed Atiku and the PDP as the Appellants while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Tinubu Bola Ahmed and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are the Respondents.
The Appellants in the Notice of Appeal said they were “dissatisfied with the decision more particularly stated in paragraph 2 herein, contained in the consolidated judgment of the Court of Appeal (sitting as the Presidential Election Petition Court), coram:- Haruna Simon Tsammani, JCA, Stephen Jonah Adah, JCA, Misitura Omodere Bolaji-Yusuff, JCA, Boloukuroma Moses Ugo, JCA, and Abba Bello Mohammed, JCA delivered 6th September 2023 in Petition No. CA/PEPC/05/2023 between Abubakar Atiku & Anor vs Independent National Electoral Commission & others.
Particularly contained from pages 487 to 752 of the consolidated judgment (as well as the concurring contributions and rulings thereto) doth hereby appeal to the Supreme Court upon the grounds set out in paragraph 3 and will at the hearing of the appeal seek the reliefs set out in paragraph 4.”
The Presidential Election Petition Court had dismissed the petition filed by the PDP and Atiku challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu.
The tribunal also dismissed the petition of Peter Obi of the Labour Party, challenging Tinubu’s election, describing it as “unmeritorious”.