Nigeria Supreme Court upholds Tinubu’s poll win, dismisses appeal
Nigeria’s Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed petitions challenging the election victory of President Bola Tinubu, ending an electioneering season that began before February this year.
Tinubu immediately appealed to the opposition groups that had sued in court to support his government for the sake of Nigeria’s development.
The seven-member bench of the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the petitions, handing the 71-year-old former Lagos governorvictory at last.
Tinubu had won the February 25 presidential elections but was immediately challenged by his rivals: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP candidate Atiku Abubakar and his Labour Party (LP’s Peter Obi.
Read:Nigeria presidential losers appeal at higher court
The supreme court ruled that the opposition appeals over claims of fraud, electoral law violations, and Tinubu’s ineligibility to run for president were without merit.
The apex court dismissed all the grounds of appeal of Atiku and PDP on qualification, non-compliance with the Electoral Act and electoral malpractices.
“On the whole, having resolved all the issues against the appellant, it is my view that there is no merit in the appeal, and it is hereby dismissed,” Justice Inyang Okorowho read the judgement said in dismissing Atiku’s appeal.
“The judgment of the court below delivered on September 6th, 2023 affirming the election of the second respondent as the duly elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is hereby affirmed.”
LP’s presidential candidate had argued there was double nomination of Vice-President Kashim Shettima, Tinubu’s running mate. The court held that the issue had been dealt with in an earlier decision.
“It is the view of this court that this issue having been dealt with by this court, this court cannot allow the matter to be re-litigated in this very court. There must be an end to litigation,” Justice Okoro held.
“For us to sit down now and talk about when this man resigned or did not resign when they did fresh primaries to replace him which we have done before, we are not going to do this again.
An election appeals court last month had already rejected the two main opposition party petitions, including allegations of fraud, violations by the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec, and claims Tinubu did not meet the constitutional requirements.
Read:INEC defends Nigeria’s presidential poll results
Along with its original claims, Atiku’s legal team had also sought to introduce new evidence, it claims shows Tinubu submitted a forged certificate from the Chicago State University as a qualification to the election commission when he applied to run for president.
Tinubu took office in May but this Supreme Court is the ultimate endorsement to his four-year term.
In his reaction to the judgement, President Tinubu said: “We are all members of one household, and this moment demands that we continue to work and build our country together.’’
“The strength of our diversity and the great citizenship that binds us must now compel us forward in directing the energy of our people towards building a virile, stronger, united, and more prosperous country.