Barely a few days after the Supreme Court struck out the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of the February 23, 2019 election, agitation for the 2023 presidential ticket has commenced.
Daily Trust reported on Friday in Abuja that some power brokers in the party were already planning how to field another candidate in 2023.
It was gathered that high ranking members of the PDP, including some serving governors were plotting to field a northern candidate in 2023, while some party bigwigs from the South felt cheated by such arrangement and are challenging the move.
A Board of Trustees (BoT) member from the South who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity said: “It is true that some power brokers in the PDP were not comfortable with the emergence of Atiku but we supported him as our candidate.”
“So now that our case has been thrown out, there are pockets of agitations regarding which zone should produce the presidential candidate in 2023.
“But I think the party also needs to handle this matter with caution because, already, many of our members are likely to jump ship to the APC. I’m also considering that option so I don’t want to comment on the matter anymore,” he said.
But PDP National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan told our correspondent on Friday in a telephone chat that the party has not taken a decision on its 2023 presidential ticket.
“There is no agitation within the PDP over the 2023 presidential ticket.
It’s even too early to talk about 2023, but I can assure you that the future of the PDP is very bright.
“We have not even seen the reasons they (Supreme Court) advanced for their judgement. So we have not reached discussion on that yet,” he said.
READ ALSO: VIDEO: Atiku’s defeat: We are waiting to know how Supreme Court arrived at ruling – Galadima
Meanwhile, Newsflash247 had earlier reported that the Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The apex court announced the decision on Wednesday, hours after it commenced the hearing of the appeal.
The Supreme Court panel, led by Chief Justice of Nigeria Tanko Mohammed, said it will give reasons for dismissing the petition on a later date.
Newsflash247 reported that the Supreme Court began hearing on the appeal filed by PDP and Atiku challenging the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, headed the seven-man panel of the court, in the lead ruling consented to by other members, overruled Atiku’s request that their seven interlocutory appeals be heard after the main one must have been argued.
The seven-man panel held that it would be unnecessary to hear the interlocutory appeals when a judgment on the main appeal marked SC.1211/2019 would cover the field.
The names on the panel are:
1. CJN Tanko Mohammed
2. Bode Rhodes-Vivour
3. Amiru Sanusi
4. Uwani Abaji
5. Ejembi Eko
6. John Inyang Okoro
7. Olukayode Ariwoola
Newsflash247 reported that the Supreme Court of Nigeria has scheduled to hear the Appeal of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and its candidate in the February 23 election, Atiku Abubakar, arising from the judgment of the Appeal Court, on Wednesday, October 30, 2019.
The PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, said the Court of Appeal panel that heard their petition erred in law when it ruled that President Buhari did not need to submit an actual certificate before INEC as part of documents in his CF001.
The PDP also said the presidential tribunal erred when it ruled that the PDP did not provide sufficient evidence to back its claim that Mr Buhari did not attend a secondary school among other issues.
But in a counter application filed on Tuesday, the APC asked the Supreme Court to reconsider the decision of the election tribunal to accept evidence proffered by the prosecution witness numbers 40, 59 and 60.
APC in Abuja filed a cross-appeal against admission of the report and evidence of the three data analysts who testified for the petitioners at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal and whose evidence was admitted by the tribunal in the interest of natural justice.
The party in the cross appeal filed by its lead counsel, Prince Lateef Olasunkanmi Fagbemi SAN, wants the Supreme Court to expunge the evidence of the three Information Communication and Technology (ICT) experts who testified on the existence of server allegedly used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to store results of the February 23 presidential election.
The three key witnesses are Segun Sowunmi, a Media Aide to Atiku, David Njoga, a Kenyan and Joseph Gbenga who are famous data analysts and employed by Atiku to carry out forensic analysis of the presidential election results.
They had in their testimony informed the tribunal that they analyzed presidential election results state by state and found discrepancies in the results credited to Atiku and President Muhammadu Buhari.
Specifically the three data analysts alleged that in the results sheets they analyzed the votes of Atiku were deliberately depleted while that of Buhari and APC were inflated.
The Kenyan expert in his evidence specifically insisted that INEC used the server which he claimed to have penetrated to obtain the alleged authentic results of the February 23 presidential election which ran counter to the one declared by the electoral body.
But Fagbemi in the cross appeal pleaded with the Supreme Court for an order setting aside the evidence of the three witnesses and the documents including video clips tendered through them from the bar.
Fagbemi also wants the apex court to out rightly expunge their testimonies and documents from the record of the court for being inadmissible in law.
The APC argued that the tribunal erred in law when it held that the evidence and the documents of the three witnesses were considered in the interest of natural justice.
Fagbemi submitted that the decision of the tribunal on the point was untenable on the grounds that the issue of admissibility or otherwise of a document is a point of law and not natural justice as erroneously held by the tribunal.