April 14, 2024

Tribunal Upholds Tinubu’s Victory, President Assures Energized Focus on His Vision

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Tinubu assures energized vision

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By Correspondent

The Nigeria Presidential Election Tribunal yesterday, September 6, 2023, dismissed the cases instituted by opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP) and others against the victory of Bola Tinubu in February this year.

Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, who came second and third respectively, had approached the court seeking for their declaration as winners, while at the same time, they alleged large scale malpractices and asked the court to cancel the election, alleging irregularities.

All the justices of the five-member tribunal, took turn to read out judgements for more than 11 hours. They all dismissed Atiku and Obi’s individual petitions point-by-point. The delivering of the judgement has set a standard in election litigation in Nigeria.

Justice Haruna Tsammani said Obi’s petition was “unmeritorious” and had “not led any credible evidence sufficient enough” to back claims of irregularities.

Tsammani said Atiku’s allegations of vote fraud were “so lame” and dismissed his argument that Tinubu was not qualified to run for president.

“The petitions are hereby dismissed,” said Tsammani.

Obi and Atiku were not in court, but both have rejected the judgement, with Atiku signifying that he was heading to the nation’s Apex Court. Obi’s Labour Party in a statement rejected the judgment and said it would announce its next steps after a meeting with lawyers.

The victor, President Tinubu of the APC, in a statement from India where he is attending the G20 summit, welcomed the tribunal ruling and urged his rivals – Atiku and Obi and their supporters to support his government.

Despite initial negative reports by a segment of the international community, especially the European Union (EU), Tinubu has been accepted by the international community as Nigeria’s legitimate leader.

The window for appeal at the Supreme Court, must be concluded within 60 days of the date of the tribunal judgment.

President Tinubu Welcomes Tribunal Verdict and Calls for Collective Efforts to Build The Nation

Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday, assured Nigerians of his renewed and energized focus on delivering his vision of a unified, peaceful and prosperous nation, following the judgment by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

“President Tinubu welcomes the judgment of the Tribunal with an intense sense of solemn responsibility and preparedness to serve all Nigerians, irrespective of all diverse political persuasions, faiths, and tribal identities.

“The President recognizes the diligence, undaunted thoroughness, and professionalism of the five-member bench, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani in interpreting the law.

“The President affirms that his commitment to the rule of law, and the unhindered discharge of duties by the Tribunal, as witnessed in the panel’s exclusive respect for the merits of the petitions brought forward, further reflects the continuing maturation of Nigeria’s legal system, and the advancement of Africa’s largest democracy at a time when our democratic system of government is under test in other parts of the continent.”

The statement added that: “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.

“Once more, President Tinubu thanks Nigerians for the mandate given to him to serve our country while promising to meet and exceed their expectations, by the grace of God Almighty, and through very diligent hard work with the team that has been put in place for that sole purpose,” the statement concluded.

Justice Haruna Tsammani, Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal led four other justices – Justice Boloukuoromo Ugo (Kano division), Justice Stephen Adah – Court (Asaba division), Justice Abba Mohammed (Ibadan Court of Appeal) and Justice Monsurat Bolaji-Yusuf.

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