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UPDATED: Supreme Court affirms Tinubu’s Victory,  dismisses Obi, Atiku’s Appeal

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Peter Obi

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.

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.

 

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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