By Suleman Ahmad Tudu
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has on Wednesday upheld the victory of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as duly elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The five member panel of the judges led by justice Haruna Tsammani dismissed the harmonized petitions filed by the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar; candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi and; Allied People Movement (APM) challenging the outcome of February 25, 2023 presidential election that returned President Tinubu elected as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Justice Tsammani ruled that both President Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima were qualified to contest in the 2023 general elections and the petitioners failed to prove electoral malpractice and non-compliance with the electoral laws.
The Court also held that the INEC didn’t violate any law by failing to electronically transmit election results at real time saying that the commission has the liberty to decide the manner in which the result can be transmitted and cannot be compelled.
LP Rejects the Judgment
Reacting to the judgment, the Labor Party through its National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh have rejected the judgment of the tribunal saying that it didn’t reflect the law and desire of the people.
“Nigerians were witnesses to the electoral robbery that took place on February 25, 2023, which was globally condemned but the Tribunal in its wisdom refused to accept the obvious. “What is at stake is democracy and we will not relent until the people will prevail. “We salute the doggedness of our team of lawyers who fearlessly exposed the wrath in our system.
“We can only weep for democracy in Nigeria but we refuse to give up on Nigeria,“ the statement reads in part.
Tinubu Welcome the verdict
Meanwhile, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has welcomed the judgment and called for collective efforts to build the nation.
In a statement released by Special Adviser Media and Publicity to President Tinubu, Mr Ajuri Ngalale, the President said that the judgment is a reflection of Nigeria’s maturing legal system and advancement of its democracy at a time when democracy is under test in some African countries.
“The President believes the Presidential Candidates and Political Parties that have lawfully exercised their rights by participating in the 2023 general elections and the judicial process, which followed, have affirmed Nigeria’s democratic credentials.
“The President urges his valiant challengers to inspire their supporters in the trust that the spirit of patriotism will now and forever be elevated above partisan considerations, manifesting into support for our Government to improve the livelihood of all Nigerians” the statement said.