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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Heavy security as presidential election tribunal decides Atiku and Obi’s petitions against Tinubu

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Heavy security has been deployed at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), and other flash points and dark spots in Abuja ahead of the delivery of the judgment on the election petitions challenging the election of President Bola Ahmed  Tinubu on Wednesday (today).

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Tinubu as the winner of the February 25, 2023, presidential poll, with Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party coming second and third respectively.

The petitions were filed by the presidential candidates of the PDP and Labour Party as well as Princess ChiChi Ojei of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM).

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The petitioners are all seeking for a nullification of the disputed election with each claiming victory.

Atiku and the PDP’s petition had alleged that INEC deliberately bypassed all the technological innovations it introduced for the purpose of the 2023 general elections despite receiving over N355 billion from the federal government for the conduct of the election.


The petition marked CA/PEPC/05/2023, had contended that INEC acted in breach of the amended Electoral Act, by refusing to transmit the election results electronically.

“On the issue of transmission of election results based on new provisions in the Electoral Act, we are all in agreement, including the INEC, that there is a new regime in election management,” the petition said.

“The essence of the innovation was to enhance transparency in the collation of results, which was an area that we usually had problems and not the actual election, and secondly, to enhance the integrity of result declared,” it added.

Obi’s petition marked CA/PEPC/03/2023, had also argued that not announcing the result electronically was an intentional act of sabotage as there was no glitch during the election.

Obi’s petition which called for the nullification of the election results as well as the removal of Tinubu, had insisted that “an election where over 18,088 blurred results were uploaded to INEC’s IReV portal, and is certainly a flawed election.”

His lead counsel, Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), had told the tribunal that some of the documents that INEC certified for his clients, included blank copies of A4 papers and pictures.

“Our case is hinged on Section 137 (1) (d) of the Constitution, as amended, which clearly provided for disqualification based on fine for offence of dishonesty.

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“It is not in doubt that the 2nd respondent, Tinubu, forfeited the sum of $460, 000 in the United States of America, being the proceed of narcotic trafficking and money laundering.

“That explains their inability to produce original copies of results that they certified,” Uzoukwu said.

In preparation for the judgment, scores of armed riot policemen, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and other security operatives in plainclothes were deployed at strategic locations in the Federal Capital Territory in a bid to prevent a breach of law and order that might arise after the judgment.

The judgment will be delivered by the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Haruna Tsammani, assisted by other members of the panel-Justices Stephen Adah, Monsurat Bolaji-Yusuf, Moses Ugo, and Abba Mohammed.

The proceedings will be held at the Court of Appeal, Three Arms zone, Abuja.

The Chief Registrar, Court of Appeal headquarters, Umar Bangari, had disclosed in a statement on Monday that the tribunal verdict will be delivered on Wednesday and aired live on television stations.

This, he noted, was to promote transparency and openness and for Nigerians to watch the proceeding.

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