Presidential tribunal judgment full of reviews, deep explanations – Lawyers
Some lawyers on Thursday said the judgment delivered by the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) on Wednesday was full of reviews and deep explanations.
The lawyers said contrary to expectations that the court would only do a partial review of the cases before delivering judgement, the justices did a thorough analysis of the judgement.
The lawyers spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.Mr Wahab Abdul of Wahab Olawale Abdul Agiidi & Co Chambers, Lagos, said the justices did a thorough job to the extent that some senior lawyers representing parties were chided for inadequacies in their research to build their clients’ cases.
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“In every contest, more particularly in a court, a party will definitely win and other lose according to the wisdom of my lords.“However, that is not the end of the road to the parties as they can still explore the opportunity provided by the constitution for them to appeal to the higher court in line with Section 285(7) of the 1999 Constitution as amended to the Supreme Court.
“In other words, if a party or parties are not satisfied with the decision of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, they are free to appeal to the higher court to ventilate their issues based on the law.”Abdul further said the unsatisfied parties would go on point of law and point where the lower court had erred in law.
He also said there was no issue at all arising from Wednesday’s judgement, which upheld President Bola Tinubu as the winner of Feb. 25 presidential election.“The parties still have opportunity to appeal to the Supreme Court and be hopeful.“The unfortunate aspect of it is that the appellants cannot ventilate or bring new issues at all.
Their argument is strictly by law,” he said.Similarly, Mr Ige Asemudara, Managing Partner, Royal Practice, Legal Practitioners & Consultants, said the judgement was delivered based on the understanding of the facts of evidence and submissions of counsel that were presented before the justices.Asemudara, also the founder of Mission Against Injustice in Nigeria (MAIN), said he would not call the judgment good or bad because the judges looked at it from the evidence before the court and their knowledge of the law.
According to him, what went on in the media space was different from what transpired in the courtroom.He said the judgment determined the rights of the petitioners and the respondent.He said:
“If there is anybody who is aggrieved by the decision of the presidential tribunal, such person should appeal.“Under the electoral act, the appeal lies from the Court of Appeal, which is the Presidential Election Tribunal, to the Supreme Court, on any issue.“I will commend the judges because the judgment they delivered showed serious work has been put in place and I can tell you that the jurisprudence, various philosophies underling these decisions were long established.“For me and for lawyers who have been following election petitions, this judgment will not entirely be strange,” he said.
The Lagos-based lawyer, however, said there were few areas where the tribunal would have looked beyond the letters and be more critical.“But you see, Oliver Wendell Holmes of the American Realist School of Jurisprudence said ‘law is the prophesy of what court says it is’ so if you like argue till tomorrow, the law is what court says it is.“The lordships of the Court of Appeal have reviewed the evidence adduced before them, the arguments canvassed before them, and have come to a verdict.
“We must commend them for the work they have done, the lawyers for the thorough work and we must also commend the parties for believing in the judicial system,” Asemudara said.He, however, reiterated that the parties that lost had the right to go up the ladder and ventilate their grievances against the decision of the tribunal.