The legal battle to unseat President Bola Tinubu will continue at the Supreme Court on Monday as the apex court has listed for hearing the election petition appeal filed by former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party standard bearer in the February presidential poll.
The Supreme Court Registrar, Zainab Garba, in a notice issued to the parties on Thursday, disclosed that the hearing proceedings in Atiku’s appeal would take place before the Supreme Court sitting in Abuja on October 23.
‘’Take notice that the above appeal/motion will be listed for hearing before the Supreme Court of Nigeria sitting at Abuja on Monday, October 23, 2023.
“And further take notice that in accordance with Order 2 Rule 1(2) of the Supreme Court Rules 1985, as amended, this notice is deemed sufficiently served on you if it is left at your address of service or sent by registered post and since the date of service by post is material, section 26 of the Interpretation Act, 1964, shall apply.”
The Supreme Court Director of Information, Dr Festus Akande, also confirmed that Atiku’s election appeal had been slated for hearing on Monday.
The notification came as the House of Representatives expressed worries over the workload on the apex court.
The apex court currently has 11 justices, short of the required 21 stipulated by section 230(2) of the 1999 Constitution.
Atiku, who came second in the election, had approached the presidential election tribunal to nullify the February 25 election in which the Independent National Electoral Commission declared Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress the winner.
The tribunal, however, dismissed the petitions filed by Atiku and Obi for lacking in merit and unanimously upheld Tinubu’s electoral victory.
Dissatisfied with the verdict of the lower court, Atiku and Obi appealed the verdict at the Supreme Court.
In his 35 grounds of appeal filed by his lead counsel, Chris Uche, SAN, former vice-president Atiku faulted the tribunal’s ruling on electronic transmission of results, Tinubu’s qualification for the election, Federal Capital Territory votes, among others.
He prayed the apex court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.
In his quest to overturn Tinubu’s election, the PDP candidate also sought the Supreme Court’s permission to file the President’s academic records obtained from his alma mater, Chicago State University, as ‘’fresh and additional evidence’’ to support his appeal challenging the outcome of the disputed poll.
The former vice-president in his application filed on October 5, was seeking the court’s nod to present a deposition on oath of the CSU Registrar, Caleb Westberg, concerning Tinubu’s academic records.
The appellant had questioned the authenticity of the President’s CSU certificate submitted to the INEC, alleging forgery of the document, arguing that he was not qualified to contest the election.
The lead counsel to the President, Wole Olanipekun SAN, disclosed that Tinubu’s legal team had been notified about the hearing of the appeals by the apex court.
“We just got a hearing notice from the Supreme Court that the hearing of the appeal is on Monday. There is no pre-hearing in appeal, we don’t have anything like pre-hearing in appeal. It’s a hearing of appeal.
The Supreme Court doesn’t list cases for mention, the appeal is for hearing on Monday,” he said.
He had earlier said that they had filed all the papers that they needed to file on behalf of their client