Vickie Remoe Institute of Digital Communications

Nigeria’s election tribunal rejects Peter Obi’s presidential challenge

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The Appeal Court in Nigeria has dismissed a challenge to Bola Tinubu’s narrow victory in the presidential election held in February this year. Following a six-hour deliberation, the court declared that Peter Obi’s Labour Party’s appeal lacked merit and rejected all of its arguments, including claims of fraud.

The court is expected to soon deliver its verdict on the challenge brought by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party. Despite the election dispute, President Tinubu assumed office on May 29.

The country was on edge in anticipation of Wednesday’s ruling, prompting increased security measures in the capital, Abuja. Despite authorities’ warnings against demonstrations, various political groups gathered around the courthouse, engaging in songs and dances.

Lead justice Haruna Tsammani, who announced the verdict, stated that “the petitioners failed to substantiate allegations of corrupt practices and over-voting.” He pointed out that the petitioners did not specify the polling units where they alleged election rigging had occurred.

The court also concluded that the petitioners did not present credible evidence to support their claims of voter suppression in their strongholds. Another contentious issue was the electronic transmission of election results, which the electoral body attributed to technical difficulties on election day. The court ruled that the electoral commission was not obligated to transmit results electronically and that the failure to upload photographic copies of polling unit results in real-time did not invalidate the election.

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