Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria’s main opposition party, says there is no cause for any alarm on the verdict of the Supreme Court to strike out his appeal to inspect the central server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Naija News had reported earlier that the Supreme court in a judgment on Tuesday, held that the request of the PDP candidate could not be granted because it was brought after parties have joined issues on the existence or otherwise of the server.
In a unanimous judgment on Tuesday, a five-man panel of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Datijo Mohammed, ruled that the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal was in order in refusing to grant Atiku’s request at the time it was made so as not to prejudice other parties in the matter.
The Supreme court, in addition, held that the appeal lacked merit because the appellants failed to prove how the decision of the tribunal was unfair to them.
Justice Nweze, who read the judgment, said a party can only complain of the lack of fair hearing when discretion of court was wrongly or arbitrarily used by the court, adding that in this instant case, the tribunal used its discretion judicially and judiciously.
“I see no reason to depart from the decision of the lower court, the appeal is lacking in merit and is hereby dismissed”, Justice Nweze said on Tuesday.
Reacting through his lead counsel at Tuesday’s proceedings, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), the PDP Presidential candidate said that the decision was anticipated and that proactive action had been taken during the hearing of the petition.
The lead counsel of the PDP candidate said that the issue of the server which was aimed at establishing that the election was rigged during the collation of results was thoroughly addressed through witnesses and documents tendered and admitted during the presentation of the petition.
Jegede expressed optimism that the presidential tribunal would do justice at the end of the day.