The Presidential Election Petitions Court sitting at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, will today deliver judgment in the three petitions challenging the declaration of President Bola Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential election.
This is coming a month after the court heard the closing arguments of parties to the petitions, and about two weeks to the expiration of the statutory 180-day lifespan within which the cases filed in March must be heard and determined.
The Chief Registrar of Appeal court, Mr Umar Bangari said everything had been put in place to ensure hitch free delivery of the judgments in the three petitions filed by the Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party PDP, Abubakar Atiku and his counterpart in the Labour Party, Peter Obi as well as that of Allied People Movement APC.
Mr Bangari also stated that restrictions and adequate security around the court premises would be ensured to avoid congestion and security breaches.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, presided over by Professor Mahmood Yakubu had on the 1st of March, this year, declared Bola Tinubu, winner of the February 23 election after polling a total of 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who got 6,984,520, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, who polled 6,101,533 votes.
Not satisfied with the outcome, five political parties including the PDP, Labour Party, Action Peoples Party, APP, Allied Peoples Movement, APM, and the Action Alliance (AA) lodged separate petitions before the tribunal seeking to annul Tinubu’s victory.
Shortly after the commencement of the pre-hearing session in May, the APP and AA withdrew their petitions.
Among several issues, the petitioners submitted that since Tinubu failed to secure 25 percent of votes cast in the federal capital territory, he should not have been declared winner of the February 25 election.
In his final written address, Chief Wole Olanipekun, who’s the lead counsel for Bola Tinubu, described the arguments of the petitioners as fictional and urged the court to dismiss them in its entirety as allowing it could lead to absurdity, chaos, anarchy and alteration of the very intention of the legislature.
However, the petitioners described the respondents outburst as desperation taken too far.
A Public Affairs Analyst, Mr. Paschal Abraham, who maintained that there was still hope in the judiciary, stressed the need for the court to deliver its judgment based on the evidences placed before it.
An Abuja based legal practitioner, Mr. Chukwudi Nwuzor urged all parties to remain calm adding that aggrieved parties still had the right of appeal.
Also, a constitutional lawyer, Mr. Maxwell Okpara noted that all parties had tendered substantive evidence and that it was left for the discretion of the court to give its judgment.
Stakeholders advised citizens to remain peaceful and embrace whatever the outcome of the judgment would be.
They also called on all security agents to maintain law and order in the country.