The Presidential Elections Petition Tribunal (PEPT) on Wednesday has declared Bola Tinubu as the winner of 2023 presidential election
Peter Obi of the Labour Party, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) filed petitions seeking for the voiding of Mr. Tinubu’s victory, which were adjudicated by a panel of appeal court justices.
The tribunal, led by Haruna Tsammani, delivered the judgement Wednesday evening in a courthouse packed with political stalwarts, including cabinet officials Vice President Kashim Shettima, Festus Keyamo, Femi Gbajabiamila and opposition governors like Bala Mohammed of Bauchi.
Mr Shettima, whose nomination was challenged as invalid by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), was excited after the court said he was validly nominated, celebrating alongside Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who chairs the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr Tinubu was absent in court on an official trip to a summit in India, as were petitioners Messrs Obi and Atiku, whose whereabouts were not immediately clear.
Some of the allegations raised involved overvoting, compulsory 25 per cent in the FCT, invalid nomination of Mr Shettima as Mr Tinubu’s running mate, perjury charges on the account of Mr Tinubu’s false claim under oath that he did not obtain a foreign citizenship, and so on.
The judges said they could not find evidence of gross ballot rigging and non-compliance with electoral guidelines. They also expunged all evidence against Mr Tinubu on the invalid nomination of his running mate and his perjury to the electoral commission, saying they were not appropriately filed.
Petitioners are expected to escalate the matter to the Supreme Court to review the tribunal’s judgement for a final verdict.