- Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have levelled fresh allegations against the presidential election petition court
- These allegations were contained in Atiku's appeal submitted before the Supreme Court for the tribunal's judgment to be dismissed
- Atiku accused the tribunal of not considering the "Doctrine of Legitimate Expectation" in its ruling
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FCT, Abuja - Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has once again faulted the verdict of the Presidential Petition Tribunal Court (PEPC) as he has approached the Supreme Court seeking redress to overturn the judgement.
Atiku accused the tribunal of its failure to consider the "Doctrine of Legitimate Expectation" over the failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the presidential polls according to the statutory guidelines of the Electoral Act of 2022.
However, Atiku, in his Notice of Appeal dated September 18, and filed by his lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, submitted that the failure of the tribunal to apply the said doctrine is enough ground for the apex court to set aside the entire decision of the lower court.
What is "Doctrine of Legitimate Expectation"
The doctrine of Legitimate Expectation was first developed in English law as a ground of judicial review in administrative law to protect a procedural or substantive interest when a public authority rescinds a representation made to a person.
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In Nigeria, the doctrine of legitimate expectation demands that a public authority shall respect and apply its stated position or sustained practice in exercising its powers on members of the public.
Meanwhile, Atiku, in his appeal to the apex court, said:
"...the lower Court erred in Law when it failed to nullify the presidential election held on February 25, 2023 on the ground of noncompliance with the Electoral Act 2022, when by evidence before the Court, the 1st Respondent (INEC) conducted the election based on very grave and gross misrepresentation contrary to the principles of the Electoral Act 2022, based on the “doctrine of legitimate expectation”.
Atiku further claimed that INEC, through its Chairman, Professor Yakubu Mahmood, publicly gave guarantees, undertakings, and unambiguous representations to candidates and political parties that polling unit results were mandatorily required to be electronically transmitted or transferred directly by the Presiding Officers.
Atiku told the Supreme Court that INEC breaching its rules and guidelines was an offence and accused the tribunal of being biased, stating that the "lower Court erred in law in its use of disparaging words against the appellants in its judgment evincing bias against the appellants as petitioners and thereby violating their right to a fair hearing and occasioning a grave miscarriage of justice."
Tinubu’s academic records: APC reacts as US court grants Atiku’s request
Meanwhile, the APC has described Atiku Abubakar’s effort to get a US court to order CSU to release President Bola Tinubu’s records as “an expedition in futility”.
The ruling party said Tinubu’s academic records would be useless to Atiku because the President has nothing to hide.
A presidential aide said the PDP and Atiku are chasing shadows to get Tinubu’s academic records.