Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) – Hours after commencement of sitting, Nigeria’s Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the appeal filed in respect of the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), which upheld President Muhammadu Buhari’s election and dismissed the petition by leading opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The apex court, in a unanimous verdict, dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit.
A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice of Nigeria Ibrahim Muhammad and unveiled at the commencement of sitting, had earlier in a ruling rejected the position by PDP and Atiku to hear all the appeals separately.
At the inception of proceedings, Justice Muhammad had noticed that seven appeals were filed over the PEPC judgment and suggested that the court would hear the main appeal, which decision will cover the others.
Lawyers to Buhari, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and All Progressives Congress (APC) – Wole Olanipekun, Yunus Usman and Lateef Fagbemi, agreed with the proposal by the Chief Justice.
But, lead counsel to the PDP and Atiku, Dr Livy Uzoukwu disagreed with the suggestion by Justice Muhammad and asked to be allowed to adopt all the processes he filed in relation to the dependent appeals.
The disagreement among lawyers to both sides, on how the court should proceed, resulted in some arguments, following which the court stood down proceedings for a while.
When proceedings resumed, the court gave its ruling in which it elected to hear the substantive appeal.
The court overruled the position by PDP and Atiku that their other interlocutory appeals should be heard after taking the substantive one.
The apex court was of the view that it would be unnecessary to hear the interlocutory appeals when its judgment on the substantive appeal, marked SC.1211/2019 was sufficient to resolve all the issues raised in the other related appeals.
After its ruling, the court directed parties to adopt their processes in respect of the substantive appeal.
-0- PANA MON/AR 30Oct2019