Election Tribunal: Tinubu, Atiku, Obi know fate on Wednesday

The Presidential Elections Petition Tribunal has fixed Wednesday, September 6, 2023, for judgment in the petitions challenging the February 25 presidential election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared President Bola Tinubu winner of the election but former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of Labour Party were among those who challenged the victory of their All Progressives Congress (APC) rival.

The court had reserved judgment after the petitioners- the Peoples Democratic Party and its standard bearer, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi and the Labour Party closed their cases in June after calling 40 out of the 150 witnesses earlier listed in their petitions challenging the victory of the All Progressives Congress and the President.

The court also reserved judgment on the petitions filed by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) against President Tinubu’s declaration as the winner of the election.

The court consolidated the three standing petitions against the victory of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu.

The court merged the petitions submitted by the various political parties while giving the pre-hearing report on the petition and presenting the trial schedule.

The petitions are marked: CA/PEPC/05/2023, CA/PEPC/04/2023 and CA/PEPC/03/2023. The court said the move became necessary because the petitions dealt with related issues in the election.

At about 4:00 am on March 1, 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the winner of the February 25, 2023 presidential poll on the grounds that his party—the All Progressives Congress (APC)—scored the highest votes cast at the poll and that he secured not less than one quarter of the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the states in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as required by law.

In the results announced on March 1, 2023, Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes representing 36.61% of the total votes cast at the election to emerge victorious.

Atiku who came second scored 6,984,520 representing 29.07% of the votes cast, while Obi scored 6,101,533 representing 25.40% of the votes cast during the disputed election.

Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP came fourth with 1,496,687 representing 6.40% of the votes cast. Princess Chichi Ojei, the only female presidential candidate in the election was not near the first four as she pooled a lean 25,961 votes.

However, the Obi and Atiku, in their respective cases, are challenging the election on the basis of INEC’s failure to carry out electronic transmission of results from the polling units.

They also contended that Tinubu failed to secure a majority of votes cast in the election and 25 percent of votes cast in the federal capital territory (FCT) which they argued is a constitutional requirement for a candidate to win the election.

Another issue raised by the petitioners is that the APC vice-presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima, had a double nomination both as vice-president and as senatorial candidate for Borno Central.

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