In a bold move, Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, has taken a stand against the perceived bias of the presidential election petitions tribunal. Atiku argues that the tribunal’s use of “disparaging words” when affirming President Bola Tinubu’s victory reveals a clear bias against him and his party.
Atiku contends that the tribunal failed to consider the “doctrine of legitimate expectation,” a crucial factor that, in his view, should lead to the overturning of the verdict. The tribunal had dismissed petitions filed by Atiku and Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) standard bearer, on September 6, stating that their cases lacked merit.
Undeterred, the former vice-president has lodged an appeal with the supreme court to challenge the tribunal’s decision. In his appeal filed on September 18, Atiku points to alleged non-compliance by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with the electoral act as another reason to nullify the verdict.
Atiku’s appeal argues, “The lower court erred in law when it failed to nullify the presidential election held on February 25, 2023, on the ground of noncompliance with the Electoral Act 2022.” He emphasizes that INEC’s failure to deploy electronic transmission of election results and the electronic collation system undermined the purpose of the new Electoral Act 2022.
The appeal also criticizes the tribunal’s choice of words in its verdict, citing phrases such as “ludicrous,” “clever by half,” and “dishonorable practice” as evidence of the court’s contempt for the appellants.
Atiku firmly believes that under the law, a candidate has the right to file a petition against an election outcome they find discomforting, and he is determined to fight for what he sees as a fair resolution.