Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, has petitioned the Supreme Court, alleging that the judgment of the Presidential Election Petitions Court dismissing his petition against President Bola Tinubu’s election was biased and filled with derogatory language.
Atiku argues that expressions used against his petition, such as “clever by half,” violated his right to a fair hearing and resulted in a serious miscarriage of justice.
The five-member panel of the PEPC, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, unanimously ruled about 15 days ago that Atiku’s legal team failed to provide credible evidence demonstrating that he had won the February 25 presidential election with a majority of lawful votes cast.
However, Atiku’s legal team, led by Chris Uche, SAN, has filed 35 grounds of appeal with the Supreme Court.
In his 34th ground of appeal, Uche contends that the choice of words and expressions used by the lower court reveals contempt and disdain for the appellants.
Uche asserts that the lower court failed to employ civil, moderate, and temperate language in line with the Revised Code for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, promulgated by the National Judicial Council, which is appropriate for the esteemed position of the court.
He argues that Atiku’s right to come to court was not to be taken lightly with disparaging words and calls for the annulment of the PEPC judgment on the grounds of bias and other reasons.
In the appeal, Atiku’s team stated, “The use of the said words and expressions substantially influenced the lower court’s consideration of the Appellants’ case, leading to the premature dismissal of their sworn witness statements, exhibits, pleadings, and the disregard of their witnesses’ evidence, resulting in a grave miscarriage of justice.”