It is not uncommon for legal challenges to arise following presidential elections, as political rivals and other interested parties seek to contest the outcome of the vote. In this case, five lawsuits have been filed at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja, seeking to prevent Bola Ahmed Tinubu from assuming the presidency.
It is understandable that there may be concerns about the composition of the tribunal and the level of trust that top lawyers have in the panel members. This is because the outcome of any legal challenge depends heavily on the competence and impartiality of the judges and their adherence to the rule of law.
The report notes that previous legal challenges to invalidate presidential election results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have not been successful. However, the outcome of any legal challenge depends on the facts of the particular case and the application of relevant laws. Therefore, it remains to be seen if the current legal challenge will be successful.
In conclusion, legal challenges to presidential election results are not uncommon and can arise for various reasons. The outcome of any legal challenge depends on the competence and impartiality of the judges and the application of relevant laws to the particular facts of the case.
It appears that two presidential candidates from different parties, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), have separately pledged to challenge the victory of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25, 2023 presidential election through legal means.
It is not unusual for election losers to challenge the outcome of a presidential election through the court process. In this case, the two candidates are invoking the jurisdiction of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) to nullify the election results and either declare them the winners or order a fresh election in which Tinubu and his running mate would be barred from participating.
It remains to be seen how the legal challenge will unfold, and whether the PEPC will agree with the arguments put forward by Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi. It is important to note that the outcome of the legal challenge will depend on the facts of the case and the application of relevant laws.
In conclusion, legal challenges to presidential election results are a common occurrence in many democracies. The decision of the PEPC on the matter will be crucial in determining the legitimacy of the presidential election and the future of Nigerian democracy.victorious. Atiku who came second scored 6,984,520 votes, while Obi scored 6,101,533 votes. Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP came fourth with 1,496,687 votes. But aggrieved by the poll results, five political parties with their presidential candidates approached the registry of the Presidential Election Petition Court to challenge the election outcome. Under the electoral law, political parties and their candidates have within 21 days of INEC announcing the results to file their petition at the registry of the Appeal Court. The aggrieved parties who met the deadline include the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and the Labour Party, with its candidate, Peter Obi. The rest are the Action Peoples Party, the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and the Action Alliance.
The results of the election as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) showed that Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) emerged victorious with 8,794,726 votes, while Atiku came second with 6,984,520 votes, and Obi came third with 6,101,533 votes.
According to the electoral law, political parties and their candidates have 21 days from the announcement of the election results by INEC to file their petition at the registry of the Appeal Court. The five aggrieved parties, including the PDP and the LP, met the deadline and filed their petitions at the PEPC.
It is important to note that the outcome of the legal challenge will depend on the facts of the case and the application of relevant laws. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether the legal challenge will succeed in invalidating the victory of Tinubu or not.
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, which began sitting last Monday, is chaired by Justice Haruna Tsammani, with Justice Stephen Jonah Adah, Justice Misitura Bolaji-Yusuf, Justice Boloukuoromo Ugoh, and Justice Abba Mohammed as members.
According to the report, the members of the tribunal were drawn from five geopolitical zones of the country, with no political zone having double representation. However, the South East zone was excluded from the panel.
It is important to note that the composition of the tribunal will play a significant role in the outcome of the legal challenge. The level of trust that top lawyers have in the panel members is also crucial. However, ultimately, the outcome of the legal challenge will depend on the facts of the case and the application of relevant laws
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, who are challenging the victory of Senator Tinubu in the last presidential election, hail from different regions of the country. Atiku Abubakar is from Adamawa in the North East while Peter Obi is from Anambra in the South East. Senator Tinubu himself hails from Lagos in the South West region of the country.
The Chairman of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, Justice Tsammani, has urged all lawyers representing the petitioners to avoid making sensational comments and to focus on the substance of the case rather than unnecessary technicalities. He also stressed the importance of cooperation and avoiding time-wasting tactics.
It is positive to hear that all lead counsel to the political parties appearing before the panel have expressed confidence in the panel and promised to cooperate with the tribunal. This suggests a willingness to work together to ensure that justice is done, which is crucial for the integrity of the legal process.
Atiku, who was the presidential candidate of the PDP, filed a petition at the Presidential Election Petition Court to challenge the results of the February 25, 2023 presidential election, in which Tinubu was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Atiku is one of the petitioners who are praying for the tribunal to declare that Tinubu was not duly elected by a majority of the lawful votes cast at the election and are seeking an order mandating INEC to retrieve the certificate of return issued to the APC candidate and issue a fresh one to them.
Atiku’s petition is based on non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, particularly the requirement for a candidate to score at least 25% of votes cast in the FCT to be declared winner. Atiku argues that Tinubu failed to meet this requirement and therefore his election should be invalidated. Atiku also alleges that the bypass and non-use of the BVAS machines in the transmission of the accreditation data and polling unit results affected the integrity of the election results. Additionally, Atiku is invoking the margin of lead principle to argue that the INEC’s announcement of Tinubu as the winner was unconstitutional and without due process.
It seems that Mr Peter Obi’s petition against Tinubu is primarily based on two grounds. Firstly, he argues that Tinubu did not win the majority of lawful votes cast in the election and did not secure one-quarter of the lawful votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Therefore, he claims that Tinubu was not duly elected by a majority of the lawful votes cast at the time of the election.
Secondly, Obi alleges that both Tinubu and his running mate, Shettima, were not qualified to stand the election. He claims that Tinubu was fined $460,000 for an offence involving dishonesty, namely narcotics trafficking imposed by the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, in case No:93C 44833 between the United States of America and Tinubu, while his running mate, Shettima, was the APC’s candidate for Borno Central senatorial district and vice-presidential candidate for the whole of Nigeria in the same election year.
Finally, Obi argues that the election was conducted in substantial non-compliance with the provision of the law, and he has urged the court to either declare him as the president-elect, believing that he scored the majority of the lawful votes during the election, or alternatively, nullify the entire election and order a fresh one.
Mr. Obi’s legal team is using a two-pronged approach to challenge the election of Tinubu. The first prong questions the qualification of Tinubu and his running mate to contest the election, citing Tinubu’s prior conviction for narcotics trafficking and the running mate’s candidacy for two positions simultaneously. The second prong challenges the validity of Tinubu’s victory, arguing that he did not win one-quarter of the lawful votes cast in the FCT. The legal team is aiming to put pressure on the tribunal and INEC by defending the integrity of the election and making it difficult for the tribunal to make a decision that could be seen as compromising its moral fiber. The response of Tinubu’s legal team to the allegations and arguments will determine the success or failure of the petition.
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal will handle the petitions against Senator Bola Tinubu’s victory in the presidential election. While no political party has succeeded in invalidating the electoral victory of successive winners since 1999, the legal team of the remaining political parties have expressed confidence in their case against Tinubu and the APC. The strongest ground in the petition is seen as the challenge to INEC’s conduct of the election, which alleges a breach of the constitution, the electoral act, and INEC’s guidelines. The coming days will see great and brilliant arguments by lawyers on both sides.[logo-slider]