Main opposition candidate in the 2019 general elections,Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and his party,the Peoples Democratic Party have headed to the the Supreme court to challenge the judgment of the presidential election petitions tribunal.
Atiku in his notice of appeal dated September 24 contends that the tribunal erred in law, in its decision to dismiss his petition against the election of President Buhari.
Atiku and his party filed the appeal on five grounds.
They alleged that the panel of the presidential election tribunal erred “when it relied on “overall interest of justice” to hold that the second Respondent’s (President Muhammadu Buhari) exhibits R1 to R26, P85, and P86 were properly admitted in evidence.”
They also alleged amongst other reasons that the tribunal erred in law “when it held thus: “My firm view is that Section 76 of the Electoral Act is clearly inapplicable to the issues under consideration.
“The form referred to are the form to be used in the conduct of the election as FORM CF001 had been taken care of in Section 31 of the Electoral Act and the said FORM CF001 is tied to the steps laid down in the said Section 31 of the Electoral Act.
“More importantly, the law is firmly settled that a candidate is not required by the Constitution or the Electoral Act to attach his certificates to FORM CF001 before the candidate can be considered or adjudged to have the requisite educational qualifications to contest the election.”
They also alleged that the tribunal erred in law when they held thus: “There was/is no pleadings in the Petition to the effect that 2nd Respondents failure to attach his certificates to Form CF001 amounts to lack of educational qualification to contest the election.
“In other words, the issue of failure to attach certificates which have been flogged throughout the length and breadth of the Petitioners Address (es) in Reply to 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents final written address is not the case of the Petitioner in the pleadings. No issue was joined on non-production of certificates or failure to attach them as an infraction of section 131, 137 and 138 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.
“All submission about the failure to produce certificates or attach same to CF001 is hereby discountenanced. Even if it can be said that the submissions made are in tandem with the Petitioners Pleadings on issues 1 and 2 the fact remains that none of the facts pleaded were proved or established as required by law.”
According to the appellants, they pleaded and proved the allegation that President Buhari gave false information of a fundamental nature to INEC in aid of his qualification.
They stated that they pleaded that the Nigerian Military denied that it held or was in possession of the President’s certificates. And that the failure of the president to produce his Certificates or attach same to Form CF001 in the face of unequivocal denial by the Army that his Certificates were not with them went to the root of the allegation against him that he gave false information of a fundamental nature to INEC in aid of his qualification.
The appellants are therefore asking the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal and grant the prayers sought by them.