Ahead of a court battle over the declaration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the 2023 presidential election, the main opposition candidates, Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party, and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have mobilized Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) to lead their legal teams in challenging the outcome.
Obi has mobilised at least 12 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), with more coming on board, an insider source said. Some of them presented in order of seniority are Dr Livy Uzoukwu, SAN; Chief Awa Kalu, SAN; Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN; P.I.N. Ikwueto, SAN; Chief Ben Anyachebe, SAN; S.T. Hon, SAN; Arthur Obi Okafor, SAN; Ik Ezechukwu, SAN; J.S. Okutepa, SAN; Dr Mrs Valerie Azinge, SAN; Emeka Okpoko, SAN; and Alex Ejesieme, SAN.
Atiku on his part has raised a legal team of 19 SANs to challenge the outcome of the 25th February presidential election.
The PDP presidential flag bearer reportedly had a meeting with the legal team on Wednesday at his campaign Headquarters in Abuja, where he asked them to “establish the claim of illegality in the election and reclaim the mandate of the Nigerian people.”
Atiku stressed that the move to establish his mandate through the court is not just for his personal benefit, but for the sake of strengthening constitutional democracy in the country for posterity.
The legal team is headed by JK Gadzama, a seasoned legal expert. Other lists of SANs in the team include Chief Chris Uche, Paul Usoro, Tayo Jegede, Ken Mozia, Chief Mike Ozekhome, Mahmood Magaji, Joe Abraham, Chukwuma Umeh, Garba Tetengi and Chief Emeka Etiaba.
Others are Chief Goddy Uche, Professor Maxwell Gidado; O.M. Atoyebi; Nella Rabana; Paul Ogbole; Nuremi Jimoh, Abdul Ibrahim, and PDP’s National Legal Adviser A.K. Ajibade.
READ ALSO: Presidential Poll: Court Grants Obi, Atiku, Leave To Inspect INEC’s Election Materials
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal in Abuja is set to rule on the application filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) seeking to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) it used to conduct the 2023 presidential election.
The court has set today, 8th March 2023, for the ruling.
Recall that Obi and Atiku had last week obtained an order permitting them to inspect materials used for the election in possession of INEC to enable them to prepare their petition to challenge the victory of Tinubu at the poll.
The court is standing as the presidential election petition tribunal.
Obi’s legal team moved a motion requesting the appellate court not to allow INEC to tamper with the evidence in the matter going to the tribunal.