In a unanimous verdict delivered on Thursday, the Nigerian supreme court has dismissed the appeal filed by opposition candidate, Atiku Abubakar against the election of President Bola Tinubu.
Justice Inyang Okoro delivered the verdict during the hearing of the appeals filed against Tinubu’s win at the Presidential Election Tribunal Court (PEPC).
Abubakar had sought to overturn the judgment of the PEPC tribunal which affirmed Tinubu’s election as president. He had approached the court to grant him the leave to bring more evidence to establish that Tinubu had submitted a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
However, the court ruled that the appeal filed by Abubakar lacked merit. The apex court affirmed that other panel members agreed with the lead judgment delivered by Justice Okoro, dismissing Abubakar’s appeal and challenging the judgment of the presidential petition tribunal.
“On the whole, it is my view that there is no merit in this appeal,” Justice Okoro said.
Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was runner up in the February presidential elections in Nigeria, which was won by Tinubu, of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, came third.
The other panel members also agreed with Okoro to reject Atiku’s application seeking to present Tinubu’s credentials obtained from the Chicago State University (CSU).
Similarly, the Court dismissed the Labour Party’s petition. It noted that the issues raised by Obi had been dealt with in the Atiku’s appeal. It further stated that the issue of double nomination ought not to have been brought before the court.
Following the February 2023 presidential election, Tinubu, a fomer governor of Lagos State was declared winner by INEC.
The APC candidate polled a total of 8,794,726 votes to defeat his closest rival, PDP’s Atiku Abubakar, who polled a total of 6,984,520 votes. While Obi came third in the election with a total of 6,101,533 votes, Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) came fourth with 1,496,687 votes.
Tinubu was sworn in as Nigerian President on May 29, succeeding former president Muhammadu Buhari who served two consecutive four-year terms.