Labour Party ( LP) on Tuesday said the Supreme Court is yet to avail the party with the Certified True Copy ( CTC) of the Supreme Court judgement on the appeal files against the Court of Appeal ruling the 2023 Presidential election, over one month later.
Farouk Ibrahim, National Secretary of the party, in a statement on Tuesday, while berating the Supreme Court handling of the case, said the apex Court has failed to honour its requests for the CTC, despite writing officially twice.
” The LP is also aware that by the provision of Section 294(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), every Court established under the Constitution (which necessarily includes the Supreme Court) has a duty to:“Furnish all parties to the cause or matter determined with duly authenticated copies of the decision within seven days of the delivery thereof.”
” The LP had, out of an abundance of caution, by letter dated 26th October 2023, applied to the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court for the certified true copy of the judgment in the LP appeal. There was a reminder through a letter on 8 November 2023. However, to date, the requests have been ignored.”
The party said it finds the position taken by the Supreme Court regarding the judgment in her appeal ” extraordinary, terribly shocking, most unprecedented and unacceptable” because the judgement refused to treat the party’s appeal separately from that of the Peoples Democratic Party.
According to the Labour Party, ” the two appeals were not even consolidated at the Supreme Court but were heard separately.
” The Supreme Court issued a hearing notice dated 25th October 2023, notifying the Labour Party (LP) and its candidate in the Presidential Election, Mr Peter Obi, that judgment would be delivered in their appeal to the Supreme Court in Appeal No. SC/CV/937/2023 on Thursday, 26th October, 2023.
“On the 26th of October, 2023, LP and her lawyers were in Court. The Supreme Court proceeded to read the judgment in Appeal No. SC/CV/935/2023 filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). After that, the Presiding Justice, His Lordship John Inyang Okoro JSC, verbally stated that the decision in the LP appeal would abide by the judgment just delivered in respect of the PDP appeal!
The party noted that the appeals filed by both the PDP and LP from the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court were two distinct appeals which emanated from two separate judgments of the Court of Appeal.
“At the separate hearing of both appeals, the question was never raised, the parties never agreed, and the Court neither gave a directive nor ordered that the judgment in one appeal would abide by the decision in the other!
“The petitions from where the two appeals arose were heard separately at the Court of Appeal based on separate pleadings and different sets of witnesses. Thus, the facts of the two petitions were remarkably different.
“The only issue where the parties agreed in the two appeals was 25% votes in Abuja. The other issues submitted to the Supreme Court for determination in the two appeals differed remarkably. By way of illustrations, we draw attention to some of the issues:
“Forfeiture of funds being proceeds of narcotics trafficking contained in the LP petition (and not in the reply);
(ii) Double nomination of the 3rd Respondent (who was not even a party in the PDP petition);
(iii) Failure to comply with the mandatory requirement of Section 73(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022, the consequence of which the provision stipulates, renders the election invalid.
“The effect of the certified true copies of 18,123 blurred and unreadable polling unit result sheets (Form EC8As) downloaded from the IReV, issued by the NEC to the LP and its candidate which they tendered in Court. Some were blank A4 papers, pictures, and images of unknown persons. They were purported to be copies of polling unit results. Even with the materiality of the issue, the Court of Appeal evaded making a finding on it.
“They were all part of the LP appeal but not that of the PDP appeal.
” The LP finds it very embarrassing and depressing that the Supreme Court would, after hearing the appeal by our party, refuse to deliver any judgment and also fail to avail our party of any copy of whatever it considers being its decision.
” With every sense of responsibility, the LP believes the Supreme Court’s conduct is regrettable and unprecedented. This constitutes an unmitigated breach of the constitutional right of LP and her candidate to a fair hearing.”