Home » Tinubu stays as Nigeria’s President as Supreme Court upholds Feb 2023 election

Tinubu stays as Nigeria’s President as Supreme Court upholds Feb 2023 election

by Samson Echenim

Ahmed Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will remain as Nigeria’s President until at least May 2027, bearing no other circumstances, as the country’s Supreme Court on Thursday upheld his victory at the February 2023 Presidential Election.

The ruling of the Supreme Court brings to an end a legal challenge brought by his two main rivals, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) against his victory and his qualification to contest as Nigeria’s president.

His two leading opponents in the controversial February 2023 election had argued that his victory was marred by irregularities, while Atiku held on to the President’s qualification to contest in the election having submitted a forged university degree certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The ruling will give the 71-year-old Tinubu a clear mandate to govern Africa’s most populous nation, which is grappling with double-digit inflation, foreign currency shortages, a weakening naira, widespread insecurity and crude oil theft, Reuters reported.

Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999 after three decades of almost uninterrupted military rule, but accusations of ballot-rigging and fraud have followed its electoral cycles.

The judgment by seven Supreme Court judges, which is final, follows a pattern seen in previous presidential elections that have been challenged in court. None of the attempts to overturn results through the courts has been successful.

Atiku and Obi were declared second and third respectively in the February 2023 presidential election, but rejected the result and called for Tinubu’s win to be annulled.

The two opposition leaders had appealed a Sept. 6 tribunal judgment that endorsed Tinubu’s victory.

In the appeal, they argued that the electoral commission failed to electronically transmit results from polling stations to an online portal, which undermined their authenticity.

They also said Tinubu had won less than 25% of the vote in the federal capital Abuja so he did not meet the legal threshold to become president.

The judges dismissed all their arguments.

“There is no merit in this appeal, and it is hereby dismissed,” said Supreme Court judge John Okoro.

The court also rejected Atiku’s bid to introduce new evidence that alleged Tinubu had submitted a forged university certificate to the electoral agency. Tinubu had denied this.

 

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