Atiku, PDP Head To Supreme Court

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Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are heading to the Supremem Court to challenge the decision of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) which upheld President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory.

Atiku and the PDP made the request in a notice of appeal containing 66 grounds which they filed on Monday.

They said PEPT erred in law in its resolution of the five issues it identified for the determination of their petition.

The PEPT, in its judgment on September 11, resolved the five issues against the petitioners and in favour of the respondents – the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), President Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has also filed motions challenging sections of the September 11 judgment.

READ ALSO: PDP Rejects Tribunal Verdict

In a cross appeal, the party is asking the Supreme Court to reconsider PEPT’s decision to accept evidence by three witnesses (numbers 40, 59 and 60).

They are Atiku’s spokesperson Segun Showunmi, a data expert David Njorga and a data analyst Joseph Gbenga.

The APC, through its lawyer Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), also wants the court to remove at least 42 paragraphs from PDP’s petition.

Atiku and the PDP faulted the PEPT for holding that President Buhari did not need to attach his academic qualifications to the form CF 001 submitted to INEC to secure clearance to participate in the election.

On ground one of the appeal, the appellants argued that the learned Justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law when they relied on “overall interest of justice” to hold that the second respondent’s Exhibits R1 to R26, P85 and P86 were properly admitted in evidence.

They also faulted the Justices of the Court of Appeal on the other grounds.

In pointing out the errors, the appellants submitted that the Appellate Court gave restrictive interpretation to Section 76 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) in order to exclude Form CF001 from its provisions.

“The conduct of election by INEC, which is the first respondent, starts with the screening of candidates. No candidate can be screened unless he completes Form CF001 (Exhibit P1).

“In Form CF001, under the column for ‘Schools Attended/Educational Qualification(s) With Dates’, there is the clear provision: ‘Attach evidence of all educational qualifications.’

“Certificates are evidence of educational qualifications.”

The appellants submitted that “Form CF001 is designed to take care of the provision in Section 31(2) of the Electoral Act (as amended)” regarding the “list or information” a candidate is expected to submit and verify by an affidavit.

“The prescription in Form CF001 for a candidate to attach evidence of all educational qualifications is part of statutory requirements. Form CF001 is made pursuant to statutory provisions.”

On ground four, Atiku submitted that the learned Justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law when they held thus: “There was/is no pleadings in the petition to the effect that the second respondent’s failure to attach his certificates to Form CF001 amounts to lack of educational qualification to contest the election.

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