In a surprising turn of events, the Labour Party (LP) has raised alarm over the Supreme Court’s failure to deliver judgment in the appeal filed by the party and its Presidential Election candidate, Mr. Peter Obi. The party has also expressed dissatisfaction with the court’s reluctance to provide a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgment, as highlighted in a press release by Labour Party National Secretary, Alhaji Umar Farouk Ibrahim, on Tuesday.
According to Alhaji Farouk Ibrahim, the apex court only read the judgment in Appeal No. SC/CV/935/2023 filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Subsequently, the Presiding Justice, His Lordship John Inyang Okoro JSC, verbally indicated that the decision in the LP appeal would align with the judgment delivered in the PDP appeal.
The Labour Party has described the Supreme Court’s stance as “extraordinary, terribly shocking, most unprecedented, and unacceptable.” The party emphasized that the appeals filed by both the PDP and LP from the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court were distinct, arising from separate judgments and were not even consolidated at the Supreme Court.
The press release outlines several reasons for the party’s dissatisfaction:
1. The appeals were distinct, originating from two separate judgments of the Court of Appeal.
2. The two appeals were not consolidated at the Supreme Court and were heard separately.
3. The parties did not agree on the judgment in one appeal abiding by the decision in the other.
4. The petitions at the Court of Appeal, from which the appeals arose, were heard separately based on different sets of witnesses and pleadings.
5. The issues submitted for determination in the two appeals differed significantly.
The LP also highlighted specific issues that were part of its appeal but not the PDP appeal, including forfeiture of funds, double nomination of a candidate, and failure to comply with electoral laws.
Despite applying for a CTC of the judgment, the LP claims that its requests to the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court have been ignored. The party expressed disappointment, calling the Supreme Court’s conduct regrettable and unprecedented, constituting a breach of its constitutional right to a fair hearing.
With this development, the LP awaits clarification from the Supreme Court and seeks resolution for what it deems an “unmitigated breach” of its constitutional rights.