Not a single one of the over 50 lawyers, among them Senior Advocates of Nigeria, who represented defeated PDP candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, was present at the Supreme Court on Friday, November 15th as the court gave an elaborate ruling on Atiku’s appeal challenging the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In contrast, lawyers to Buhari, the winner of the poll, the All Progressives Congress and the Independent National Electoral Commission were present ahead of the proceedings. The Atiku lawyers did not send any apology to the court, but it is believed they kept away because of the position of their principal, Atiku Abubakar, who made the unproven allegation that the court was under the influence of a ‘dictatorial cabal’.
Dr. Livy Uzoukwu SAN, headed the long list of lawyers that represented the defeated candidate, now living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A seven-man panel of the court headed by Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad had in its judgment on October 30, 2019, dismissed the appeal and announced that it would give the reasons for its decision on a date to be later announced. Justice John Okoro is reading the elaborate judgment today.
The apex court on Wednesday notified lawyers to parties in the appeal to come for the reasons behind its verdict. The notice signed by Ibrahim Gold, a Registrar at the Supreme Court reads: “IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA HOLDEN AT ABUJA. SC 1211/2019: Atiku Abubakar & anor V. INEC & 2 Ors. “TAKE NOTICE that the REASONS FOR THE JUDGEMENT delivered on Wednesday the 30th day of October 2019 in the above named Appeal will be listed before the Supreme Court of Nigeria on Friday the 15th day of November, 2019 at 9.00am.
“AND FURTHER TAKE NOTICE that in accordance with the Supreme Court Rules, this Notice is deemed sufficiently served on you if it is delivered on your telephone”