News Investigators/ The Supreme Court has dismissed the Appeal filed by the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi in the February 23, 2023 for lack of merit, even as it upheld the election of President Bola Tinubu as valid.
The Apex Court said failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to transmit election results on IREV did not affect election results, since election results are not collated on IREV but instead a platform for the public to view election results.
In the judgement delivered by Justice Inyang Okoro, the Supreme Court also rejected the additional evidence from Chicago State University (CSU), stating that it fell short of the allowance of time permitted in the electoral laws.
Mr. Atiku had filed a motion on notice at the Supreme Court, seeking two orders, including a leave to produce and for the court to receive additional evidence from CSU for use in the appeal.
Mr. Atiku had challenged the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), which dismissed his election petition against the outcome of the election which affirmed the election of President Bola Tinubu.
The motion on notice contained evidence disclaiming the certificate from CSU presented by President Tinubu to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2023 presidential election.
However, the Supreme Court in a judgement delivered by Justice Inyang Okoro, rejected the motion on notice, stressing that fresh evidence could not be entertained and that the evidence was belated.
“An election tribunal shall determine its judgment within 180 days of filing of petition and therefore the court of appeal lost jurisdiction after 180 days
“The Supreme Court cannot activate its Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act after 180 days has lapsed at the lower court. I still wonder how the appellants intend to use the evidence in this appeal.
“The application to file fresh evidence runs foul of the provisions of the Electoral Act that prohibits the amendment of election petition of 21 days of the election petition.
“The Supreme court found as ridiculous the submission of Atiku Counsel that the 180-day rule does not apply to court of appeal sitting on the presidential election petition.
“The provision of the Constitution has spoken. There cannot be an addendum. Appeals are continuation of hearing on matters of the lower court,” Justice Okoro ruled. (Additional report from Conclaves)