A seven-member panel led by Justice Inyang Okoro declared Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the duly elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, affirming the judgment of the lower court delivered on September 6, 2023.
The Supreme Court dismissed the appeals of the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and the Labour Party (LP) candidate Peter Obi, citing a lack of merit.
The two main challengers, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi had sought to overturn the presidential election, alleging irregularities. The Supreme Court had 60 days to pass its judgment but expedited the ruling after hearing the challengers’ arguments on Monday.
One of the issues the court considered was whether to admit new evidence of alleged forgery presented by Atiku Abubakar. He claimed that President Tinubu’s certificate from Chicago State University was different from the one issued by the university.
Peter Obi argued that President Tinubu was not qualified to contest the presidential election at the time he did. Both challengers urged the Supreme Court to overturn the tribunal’s decision upholding Tinubu’s victory.
The Supreme Court, in its ruling, dismissed Atiku Abubakar’s application to present fresh evidence, stating that it lacked jurisdiction and went against the electoral act. The court emphasized that no new facts could be introduced that were not present in the original election petition.
The court also ruled that the non-availability of election results on the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) was not a valid reason to cancel the election. It held that petitions challenging election results must not only prove non-compliance but also demonstrate how such non-compliance affected the outcome of the election.
Additionally, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling that a candidate does not need to obtain at least 25% of the votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to be declared the president of the country, emphasizing that the FCT does not hold a special status in the constitution. The Constitution applies to everyone and not just a select few.
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