The long-standing battle over the outcome of Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election is about to reach its climax.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court will deliver a momentous judgment in response to the appeals filed by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on one side, and Peter Obi and the Labour Party (LP) on the other.
Their appeals challenge the court’s previous decision, which affirmed Bola Tinubu’s victory for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25th poll.
The Supreme Court has officially informed the legal representatives of all parties involved that it will announce its verdict regarding the contested outcome of the 2023 presidential election on Thursday, October 26th, as reported by The Nation.
In a previous turn of events, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPC) had dismissed the petitions of Atiku and Obi, stating that they lacked merit.
The PEPC confirmed Bola Tinubu’s election as President.
This decision led Atiku and Obi to appeal to the Supreme Court, where their cases were heard by a seven-member panel of justices led by Justice Inyang Okoro.
Atiku’s notice of appeal is founded on 35 substantial grounds.
He asserts that the PEPC’s judgment, delivered by Chairman Justice Haruna Tsammani, was erroneous in terms of legal interpretation.
According to Atiku’s lead counsel, Mr. Chris Uche, SAN, the PEPC’s judgment was a miscarriage of justice.
He contends that the lower court also erred in not annulling the presidential election on February 25th, citing non-compliance with the Electoral Act of 2022.
Atiku maintains that INEC conducted the election based on grave and gross misrepresentation, contrary to the principles of the Electoral Act 2022 and the doctrine of legitimate expectation.
On the other hand, Peter Obi, represented by Mr. Levi Uzoukwu, SAN, also seeks to overturn the PEPC’s decision to dismiss his petition.
Uzoukwu implores the apex court to consider his client’s appeal and grant all the requested reliefs.
In response, the legal representatives of the respondents, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), President Tinubu, and the All Progressives Congress (APC), have called on the court to dismiss the appeals, citing a lack of merit and frivolity.
President Tinubu’s lawyer, Mr. Wole Olanipekun, SAN, characterizes Atiku’s appeal as abusive in nature and urges the court to reject it.
Similarly, Mr. Mahmoud Yakubu, SAN, representing INEC, and Mr. Akin Olujimi, counsel for the APC, have requested that the panel dismiss the appeals on the grounds of merit.
The panel of justices presiding over this significant case includes Justice Uwani Abaji, Justice Lawal Garba, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, Justice Adamu Jauro, Justice Tijani Abubakar, and Justice Emma Agim.
In this high-stakes legal battle, the nation awaits the Supreme Court’s judgment, which will determine the course of Nigeria’s political landscape.