Presidential candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has assembled a legal team of 19 Senior Advocates of Nigeria to challenge the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.
Atiku, who briefed his legal team on Wednesday at his campaign Headquarters in Abuja, asked them to “establish the claim of illegality in the election and reclaim the mandate of the Nigerian people.”
The PDP presidential flagbearear’s legal team is headed by a seasoned litigation and commercial lawyer, JK Gadzama.
Atiku added that it is crucial for them to go through this process not just for himself and PDP, but also to reinforce constitutional democracy and safeguard it for future generations.
The list of Atiku’s SANs includes Chief Chris Uche, Paul Usoro, Tayo Jegede, Ken Mozia, Chief Mike Ozekhome, Mahmood Magaji, Joe Abraham, Chukwuma Umeh, Garba Tetengi and Chief Emeka Etiaba – as well as Chief Goddy Uche, Professor Maxwell Gidado; PDP’s National Legal Adviser A.K. Ajibade; O.M. Atoyebi; Nella Rabana; Paul Ogbole; Nuremi Jimoh and Abdul Ibrahim.
Atiku and his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi, have refused to concede defeat in the February 25 presidential election, vowing to recover their mandate in court.
The two candidates rebuffed the gesture of conciliation made by the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who in his acceptance speech after he was declared the winner of the poll on Wednesday, asked them to support him in the task of building the nation.
Independent National Electoral Commission declared Tinubu as the President-elect after he polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat his closest rivals, Atiku and Obi who scored 6,984,520 and 6,101, votes, respectively.
But both Atiku and Obi respectively approached the Presidential Election Court to seek permission for the inspection of election materials used during the presidential poll.
With the move, the Court of Appeal in Abuja last Friday granted leave to Atiku and Obi to have access to all the sensitive materials used for the conduct of the election.
A panel of the appellate court led by Justice Joseph Ikyegh made the order after it heard two separate ex parte applications the two aggrieved presidential candidates filed alongside their political parties.
Listed as respondents in the matter were INEC, All Progressives Congress, and its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, who was declared the winner of the election and is now the President-elect.
Both applications were predicated on Section 146 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022, Paragraph 47 (1, 2 &3) of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act of 2022, as well as under the inherent jurisdiction of the court as referenced by Section 6 (6) A & B of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).