Chris Uche, lead counsel to Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, has asked the presidential election petitions tribunal to “urgently” release the certified true copies (CTC) of the judgement delivered on Wednesday.
The tribunal had struck out the various petitions filed by Abubakar who was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 25 election against President Bola Tinubu’s victory at the polls.
In a unanimous decision, the five-man panel led by Haruna Tsammani held that Abubakar was unable to prove claims of vote rigging and irregularities against Tinubu.
The tribunal also ruled that Abubakar failed to prove that Tinubu should have been disqualified from contesting the election on account of a $460,000 forfeiture to the US government after a Chicago court found that the money was the proceeds of heroin trafficking.
The PDP and Abubakar rejected the tribunal judgment and vowed to appeal against the verdict.
According to law, Abubakar has 14 days from the date the judgement was delivered to file an appeal at the supreme court.
In a letter dated September 7 and addressed to the secretary of the tribunal, Uche said Abubakar’s legal team has yet to receive copies of the judgement, two days after the ruling.
Uche said the legal team applied for copies of the judgments on Thursday but received no response.
“We had by our letter of 7th September 2023 requested for the copies of the judgements delivered by the Court on 6th September 2023, which the Court had promised in open court would be given to us on the next day, being 7th September 2023,” the letter reads.
“Our clients are worried that up till today, we have not received copies of the judgments which were read as ready and televised globally on 6th September 2023.
“As we indicated, given the severely limited time to file our appeal, our request is one of extreme urgency, as any day that goes by, depletes our time, and affects our constitutional right of appeal, as the time to appeal is not extendable.
“We have already lost two days out of the only 14 days available to us.”
Uche asked the tribunal to release the copies of the judgments before noon on Friday (today) to enable the legal team to file an appeal, noting that the weekend is counted in the computation of the time to the suit.