Read Atiku’s 66 Grounds of Appeal Against Presidential Tribunal Verdict

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Alhaji Atiku Abubakar

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, and his party, have formally filed their appeal against the judgement of the presidential election petitions tribunal at the Supreme Court.

The appellants in their notice of appeal hold that the tribunal erred in its decision to dismiss its petition against the election of President Buhari.

Atiku and his party filed the appeal on 66 grounds.

 

Find below the full statement with the Notice of Appeal.

 

 

 

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA

HOLDEN AT ABUJA

 

IN THE MATTER OF THE ELECTION TO THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA HELD ON THE 23RD FEBRUARY, 2019.

SUPREME COURT NO: …….

PETITION NO: CA/PEPC/002/2019

BETWEEN:

  1. ATIKU ABUBAKAR
  2. PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) APPELLANTS

 

AND

  1. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL

COMMISSION (INEC) RESPONDENTS

  1. MUHAMMADU BUHARI
  2. ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC)

 

NOTICE OF APPEAL

 

TAKE NOTICE that the Petitioners/Appellants being dissatisfied with the decision, more particularly stated in paragraph 2 of the Notice of Appeal, contained in the Judgment of the Court of Appeal (sitting as the Presidential Election Petition Court). Coram: Mohammed Lawal Garba, JCA, Abdu Aboki, JCA, Joseph Shagbaor Ikyegh, JCA, Samuel Chukwudumebi Oseji, JCA, and Peter Olabisi Ige, JCA, dated the 11th day of September 2019 in Petition No.

 

  1. Exhibits P85 and P86 were tendered through PW40 who is not the maker and there is no nexus between him and the documents.

 

 

 

  1. Exhibits R1 to R26, P85 and P86 were held to have been properly admitted in evidence based on a blanket statement.

 

GROUND 2: ERROR IN LAW

The Learned Justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law when they held thus:

 

“My firm view is that Section 76 of the Electoral Act is clearly inapplicable to the issues under consideration. The form referred to are the form to be used in the conduct of the election as FORM CF001 had been taken care of in Section 31 of the Electoral Act and the said FORM CF001 is tied to the steps laid down in the said Section 31 of the Electoral Act.

 

More importantly the law is firmly settled that a candidate is not required by the Constitution or the Electoral Act to attach his certificates to FORM CF001 before the candidate can be considered or adjudged to have the requisite educational qualifications to contest election.”

 

PARTICULARS OF ERROR:

  1. The Court below gave restrictive interpretation to Section 76 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) in order to exclude Form CF001 from its provisions.

 

  1. The conduct of election by the 1st Respondent starts with the screening of candidates.
  2. No candidate can be screened unless he completes Form CF001 (Exhibit P1).

 

CA/PEPC/002/2019 doth hereby appeal to the Supreme Court upon the grounds set out in paragraph 3 and will at the hearing of the appeal seek the reliefs set out in paragraph 4.

 

AND the Appellants further state that the names and addresses of the persons affected directly by the Appeal are set out in paragraph 5.

 

2 PART OF THE DECISION OF THE LOWER COURT COMPLAINED OF:

 

The whole judgment.

 

3 GROUNDS OF APPEAL:

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GROUND 1: ERROR IN LAW

The Learned Justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law when they relied on “overall interest of justice” to hold that the 2nd Respondent’s Exhibits R1 to R26, P85 and P86 were properly admitted in evidence.

 

PARTICULARS OF ERROR:

  1. Exhibits R1 to R26, P85 and P86 were not pleaded by the 2nd Respondent.

 

 

 

  1. Exhibits R1 to R26, P85 and P86 were not frontloaded.

 

  1. No leave of court was sought pursuant to paragraph 41 (8) of the 1st Schedule to the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) to receive Exhibits R1 to R26, P85 and P86 in evidence.

 

In Form CF001, under the column for “Schools Attended/Educational Qualification with dates”, there is the clear provision: “ATTACH EVIDENCE OF ALL EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS”.

 

  1. Certificates are evidence of educational qualifications.

 

GROUND 3: ERROR IN LAW

The Learned Justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law when they held as follows:

“The reasonable inference or plausible meaning attachable to the above provision of Electoral Act 2010 as amended is that a Candidate can list information concerning evidence of his qualifications or other relevant information(s) about himself. The demand or information required in FORM CF001 cannot be more or higher than the statutory requirements.”

 

PARTICULARS OF ERROR:

  1. Form CF001 is designed to take care of the provision in section 31(2) of the Electoral Act (as amended) regarding the “list or information” a candidate is expected to submit and verify by an Affidavit.

 

  1. The prescription in Form CF001 for a candidate to attach evidence of all educational qualifications is part of statutory requirements.

 

  1. Form CF001 is made pursuant to statutory provisions.

 

GROUND 4: ERROR IN LAW

The Learned Justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law when they held thus:

“There was/is no pleadings in the Petition to the effect that 2nd Respondents failure to attach his certificates to Form CF001 amounts to lack of educational qualification to contest the election. In other words the issue of failure to attach certificates which has been flogged throughout the length and breadth of the Petitioners Address (es) in Reply to 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents final written address is not the case of the Petitioner in the pleadings. No issue was joined on non production of certificates or failure to attach them as an infraction of section 131, 137 and 138 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended…

All submission about failure to produce certificates or attach same to CF001 is hereby discountenanced. Even if it can be said that the submissions made are in tandem with the Petitioners Pleadings on issues 1 and 2 the fact remains that none of the facts pleaded were proved or established as required by law.”

 

PARTICULARS OF ERROR:

  1. Clearly, the Appellants pleaded and proved the allegation that the 2nd Respondent gave false information of a fundamental nature to the 1st Respondent in aid of his qualification.

 

  1. The issue raised above was done suo motu by the court below without affording the Appellants a hearing on it.

 

  1. The Court below set out in full, the pleadings in the Petition under the heading: Grounds 4 and 5: “Non-Qualification and giving of false Information”, which paragraphs 388 – 405 of the Petition cover.
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Paragraph 396 thereof is predicated on the 2nd Respondent’s claim that all documents relating to his academic qualification “are currently” with the Secretary to the Military Board.

 

  1. The Appellants also pleaded thereof that the Nigerian Military denied that it held or was in possession of the 2nd Respondent’s certificates.

 

  1. Paragraph 399 thereof pleads that the Appellants will contend that the 2nd Respondent was not qualified to contest the said election.

 

  1. The Appellants are not enjoined to plead the law but material facts.

 

  1. The failure of the 2nd Respondent to produce his Certificates or attach same to Form CF001 in the face of unequivocal denial by the Army that his Certificates were not with them went to the root of the allegation against the 2nd Respondent that he gave false information of a fundamental nature to the 1st Respondent in aid of his qualification.

 

  1. The Appellants pleaded and proved the allegation that the 2nd Respondent gave false information of a fundamental nature to the 1st Respondent in aid of his qualification.

 

  1. The finding above is perverse.

 

GROUND 5: ERROR IN LAW

The Learned Justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law when they failed to consider and apply the recent case of A.A MODIBBO v MUSTAPHA USMAN AND ORS, an unreported decision of the Supreme Court in Appeal No

 

SC/790/2019 delivered on 30th day of July, 2019, cited and relied upon by the Appellants wherein the principles enunciated therein have direct bearing on the Petition.

 

PARTICULARS OF ERROR:

  1. In the above judgment, the Apex Court in clear and unequivocal terms stated the meaning and standard of proof of “false information”.

 

  1. By the above decision, the Petitioners were only required to prove that any of the information in Exhibit P1 was contrary to truth or fact that is to say untrue simpliciter.

 

  1. In reviewing the Appellants’ case, the court below referred to the said judgment of the Supreme Court five times but failed to consider and apply same.

 

  1. The judgment considered “false information” in relation to the contents of Form CF001 verified on Oath and the definition of “false”.

 

  1. By the principle of stare decisis, the court below was under an obligation to consider and follow the principle of law enunciated therein relevant to the issue of the non-qualification of the 2nd Respondent canvassed by the Appellants.

 

  1. The lower Court failed to do so and no reason was given.

 

  1. The Appellants led evidence that the military denied being in possession of the certificates.

 

  1. The information on the issue contained in Exhibit P1 is false and it is of a fundamental nature in aid of his qualification.

 

  1. RW1 and RW2 did not establish in any manner whatsoever that the 2nd Respondent had the educational qualifications he claimed in Form CF001.

 

  1. Proof of educational qualification is not established by so claiming in an Affidavit.

 

  1. The Appellants led sufficient evidence before the lower Court to prove that the 2nd Respondent lied concerning the Schools he purported to have attended and Certificates obtained.

 

  1. Exhibit P1 cannot by any stretch of imagination be conclusive proof that the 2nd Respondent attended Primary School and Katsina Provincial Secondary School (now Government College), Katsina from 1956 to 1961 and that he went to Nigerian Military Training School from 1961 to 1963.
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  1. RW1 and RW2 did not in any way establish beyond doubt, as held by the lower Court, that 2nd Respondent had educational qualifications he filled in Form CF001 on 8/10/2018.

 

  1. If anything, the evidence of RW1 and RW2 concerning educational qualifications of the 2nd Respondent as filled in Form CF001 on 8/10/2018 is merely hearsay.

 

6: ERROR IN LAW

The Learned Justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law when they held as follows:

“There is no evidence before the Court to disclaim or prove that the 2nd Respondent lied that he went to Primary School, Secondary School and that he joined the Army in 1962 with RW1 and many other persons in the 2nd Respondent’s C.V. attached to Exhibit P1 tendered by the Petitioners. Page 1 thereof shows conclusively that he attended Primary School and that he attended Katsina Provincial Secondary School (no Government College) Katsina in 1956 – 1961 and went to Nigerian Military Training from 1961 – 1963. The evidence of RW1 and RW2 bear testimony to the aforesaid facts. The said RW1 and RW2 establish beyond doubt that 2nd Respondent had educational qualifications he filled in FORM CF001 on 8/10/2018.”

 

PARTICULARS OF ERROR:

  1. The educational qualifications the 2nd Respondent claimed in Exhibit P1 are “Primary School Certificate”, “WASC” and “Officer Cadet”.

 

  1. The 2nd Respondent did not predicate his educational qualifications on any other certificate or ground.

 

  1. The 2nd Respondent appreciated that he was under an obligation to attach evidence of the certificates/qualifications he claimed in Form CF001.

 

  1. The 2nd Respondent did not attach any of them and claimed that they “are currently” with the Secretary to the Military Board in an affidavit he deposed to on 24th November, 2014.

 

The Appellants led evidence that the military denied being in possession of the certificates.

 

  1. The information on the issue contained in Exhibit P1 is false and it is of a fundamental nature in aid of his qualification.

 

  1. RW1 and RW2 did not establish in any manner whatsoever that the 2nd Respondent had the educational qualifications he claimed in Form CF001.

 

  1. Proof of educational qualification is not established by so claiming in an Affidavit.

 

  1. The Appellants led sufficient evidence before the lower Court to prove that the 2nd Respondent lied concerning the Schools he purported to have attended and Certificates obtained.

 

  1. Exhibit P1 cannot by any stretch of imagination be conclusive proof that the 2nd Respondent attended Primary School and Katsina Provincial Secondary School (now Government College), Katsina from 1956 to 1961 and that he went to Nigerian Military Training School from 1961 to 1963.

 

  1. RW1 and RW2 did not in any way establish beyond doubt, as held by the lower Court, that 2nd Respondent had educational qualifications he filled in Form CF001 on 8/10/2018.

 

  1. If anything, the evidence of RW1 and RW2 concerning educational qualifications of the 2nd Respondent as filled in Form CF001 on 8/10/2018 is merely hearsay.P

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