The Supreme Court has kept its judgment reserved regarding the appeal made by Mr. Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) candidate, challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.
A seven-member panel, led by Justice Inyang Okoro, greenlit the case for judgment after all parties presented their arguments.
Obi and the LP, represented by Dr. Livy Uzoukwu, SAN, urged the court to support the appeal and overturn the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), which dismissed their petition. On the other side, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), President Bola Tinubu, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) called for the appeal’s dismissal due to a lack of merit.
The judgment date will be communicated to all parties by the panel.
Obi, who finished third in the election, asserted in his 51 grounds of appeal that the PEPC panel made legal errors and reached an incorrect conclusion when dismissing his petition. He claimed the panel incorrectly evaluated the evidence he presented and caused a severe miscarriage of justice by stating that he failed to specify polling units where irregularities occurred during the election.
Obi and the LP further criticized the PEPC for rejecting their case based on the alleged failure to specify the suppressed or inflated vote figures in favor of President Tinubu and the APC.
They accused the Justice Haruna Tsammani-led PEPC panel of making a legal mistake by relying on specific sections of the Electoral Act 2022 to strike out paragraphs of the petition.
Obi also asserted that the lower court violated his right to a fair hearing and unjustly dismissed his claim that INEC uploaded 18,088 blurred results on its IReV portal. He further alleged that the lower court ignored his assertion that certified true copies of INEC documents issued to his legal team contained blurred results and images of unknown individuals, purportedly representing polling unit results.
Obi argued that the lower court wrongly used the legal principle of estoppel to reject his argument that INEC failed to electronically transmit election results from polling units to the IReV.
He claimed that he provided substantial evidence, both oral and documentary, that demonstrated substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2022 by the respondents during the election. Obi contended that the respondents failed to disprove the evidence of substantial non-compliance presented by the petitioners. Additionally, Obi insisted that the PEPC overlooked evidence suggesting that President Tinubu had previously been indicted and fined $460,000 in the USA in connection with a drug-related case.