The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the February 25, 2023 presidential election.
The apex court, in its ruling, dismissed the appeals by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar; and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Peter Obi.
A seven-judge panel ruled as without merit the opposition appeals over claims of fraud, electoral law violations, and Tinubu’s ineligibility to run for president.
The apex court thrashed all the grounds of appeal of Atiku and the PDP on qualification, non-compliance with the Electoral Act, the 25% votes in FCT, and electoral malpractices.
“On the whole, having resolved all the issues against the appellant, it is my view that there is no merit in the appeal and it is hereby dismissed,” Justice Inyang Okoro said in dismissing Atiku’s appeal.
“The judgment of the court below delivered on September 6, 2023 affirming the election of the second respondent (Tinubu) as the duly elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is hereby affirmed.”
‘Obi’s Matter Ought Not To Have Come In’
The apex court thereafter listened to Obi’s appeal for a few minutes. In dealing with the LP’s presidential candidate on the issue of double nomination of Vice-President Kashim Shettima, the court held that the issue had been dealt with in its ruling on May 26.
“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,” Justice Okoro held.
“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.”
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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