The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the February 25, 2023 presidential election.
In its judgment, the highest court rejected the appeals made by Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Peter Obi, his counterpart from the Labour Party (LP).
The apex court ruled against Atiku and the PDP on all counts, including qualification, Electoral Act compliance, the 25% votes in FCT, and electoral malpractices.
The court described the petition as incompetent and lacking in merit.
Atiku had sought the nullification of the February of President Tinubu’s electoral victory over alleged irregularities and the presentation of forged academic certificate by Tinubu.
Justice Inyang Okoro, who led the panel of Supreme Court Justices in determining the first issue in Atiku’s appeal, held that failure to transmit election results electronically did not affect the outcome of the election and could not warrant the nullification of the presidential election.
The apex court also stated that Atiku did not produce alternative results of the presidential election that showed he won the majority number of votes cast to rebuff the one declared by INEC.
The apex court, therefore, resolved all the seven issues distilled for determination in favour of Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), stating that the appeal lacked merit.
Peter Obi’s Case
Similarly, the Supreme Court also dismissed the appeal of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, stating that the case lacks merit.
The seven-man panel led by Justice Inyang Okoro held that the appeal lacked merit and “is hereby dismissed”.
Obi, in his notice of appeal, implored the highest court to overturn the PEPT’s September 6 decision, which upheld President Tinubu’s victory.
But the panel in a unanimous judgment on Thursday held that the appeal lacked merit and ought to be dismissed.
Subsequently, the apex court heard Obi’s appeal for a short duration. Regarding the issue of Vice-President Kashim Shettima’s dual nomination as the LP’s presidential candidate, the court affirmed that this matter had been resolved in its May 26 ruling.
“As for issue Number 4 which has to do with double nomination which was not in Atiku’s appeal, it is the view of this court that this issue having been dealt with by this court, this court cannot allow the matter to be re-litigated in this very court. There must be an end to litigation,
“For us to sit down now and talk about when this man resigned or did not resign when they did fresh primaries to replace him which we have done before, we are not going to do this again.
“This matter ought not to have come in. When this matter was pending at the trial court, this court delivered that judgment. If you read the judgment of the lower court, they mentioned that the Supreme Court has settled this matter and that should have been the end.
“You now bring this issue of double nomination for us to sit on it and write another judgment, this is not how it should be. This appeal lacks merit and is hereby dismissed.” Justice Okoro stated.
What you should know
In September, the Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPC) rejected the petitions of Obi and Atiku including allegations of fraud, alleged violations by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and claims that Tinubu did not meet the constitutional requirements. The Tribunal had upheld Tinubu’s election.
Along with its original claims, Atiku’s legal team had also sought to introduce new evidence with claims that Tinubu submitted a forged certificate from the Chicago State University as a qualification to the election commission when he applied to run for president.
However, the apex court dismissed Atiku’s appeal to admit his evidence from the American varsity, saying the time for the submission of fresh appeals had elapsed.
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I am a journalist and a political and socioeconomic analyst currently employed at Nairametrics. I pride myself on being a skilled wordsmith with a passion for delving into contemporary political issues on both a national and international scale. Additionally, I contribute research-based columns and op-eds to national publications.