Supreme Court Panel to Hear PDP and LP Appeals Following PEPC Judgment.
In the wake of the Presidential Election Petitions Court’s (PEPC) judgment delivered on September 6, 2023, which upheld the election of President Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP), Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, respectively, are set to file their appeals to the Supreme Court before the 14-day deadline expires on Wednesday.
Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, is expected to constitute the Supreme Court panel that will review these appeals. However, as of Friday, the panel’s composition remained undisclosed. It is anticipated that the panel’s members will be named this week, with the latest announcement expected on Wednesday.
Atiku’s legal team has indicated that they plan to file their appeal on Tuesday, confirming that they will not be making any changes to their legal lineup. Similarly, the LP, represented by the National Legal Adviser Kehinde Edun, is poised to file their appeal within the timeframe and retain their existing legal team.
The legal representatives for all three presidential candidates, including President Tinubu, have assembled a formidable lineup of 89 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) to navigate this high-stakes legal battle.
In the midst of these legal developments, Timothy Osadolor, Deputy National Youth Leader of the PDP, has urged CJN Ariwoola to recuse himself from the panel due to past statements that suggested a political bias. Osadolor cited the CJN’s earlier endorsement of Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde’s membership in a group opposed to certain PDP leadership decisions.
This development comes as the political landscape also witnessed changes, with the PDP losing 11 National Assembly seats, the APC forfeiting six seats, and the LP failing to retain eight slots. The detailed breakdown of seat distribution in the National Assembly was reported as follows: APC secured 162 seats, PDP 102 seats, LP 34 seats, NNPP 18 seats, SDP and APGA 2 and 4 seats, respectively.
The Senate results showed the APC with 57 seats, the PDP with 29 seats, and the LP with six seats.
As the legal battle intensifies and political dynamics continue to evolve, all eyes are on the Supreme Court, where the fate of these appeals and the presidential election outcome hang in the balance.