By Daniel Edu
The camp of Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, has leveled allegations against the Court of Appeal, claiming that the court is intentionally obstructing their efforts to approach the Supreme Court for a review.
Phrank Shaibu, the Special Assistant to Atiku Abubakar on Public Communications, issued a statement on Friday, asserting that the Court of Appeal has not provided their legal team with certified true copies of the judgment, despite the fact that three days have passed since the verdict was delivered. This delay, they argue, hampers their ability to file an appeal with the Supreme Court within the allotted 14-day window.
Shaibu accused the Court of Appeal of intentionally wasting time that their lawyers need to thoroughly examine the judgment before proceeding to the Supreme Court. This allegation comes in the wake of the dismissal of all petitions against President Bola Tinubu’s victory by the tribunal on September 6, 2023. Atiku and the PDP have rejected this outcome and expressed their intent to appeal the tribunal’s verdict to the Supreme Court.
According to Shaibu, “By not making available to Atiku Abubakar, Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, the certified true copies of the judgment of Wednesday for its filings at the Supreme Court, the Presidential Election Petition Court, is undermining Atiku’s and Nigerians’ quest for justice.”
He reminded the Presidential Election Petition Court that it had emphasized the importance of adhering to the court’s set time schedule during the delivery of its judgment and pointed out that three valuable days out of the 14-day limit for filing processes at the highest court have been lost due to the Court of Appeal’s actions.
Shaibu also questioned why the tribunal rushed to release a judgment that was still undergoing revisions instead of waiting to complete its work properly. He criticized this as undemocratic and emphasized that the lost time would never be recovered.
In conclusion, the statement from Atiku’s camp suggests that the delay in receiving certified copies of the judgment from the Court of Appeal is seen as an attempt to hinder their legal pursuit of justice through the Supreme Court.