The eagerly anticipated moment of judgment has been officially scheduled by the Presidential Election Tribunal.
On the 6th of September, the tribunal will issue its decision concerning the petitions that have contested the legitimacy of Bola Tinubu’s election as President.
This significant announcement was made by Umar Bangari, the Registrar of the Court of Appeal, on a Monday, signifying a noteworthy milestone in this closely observed legal case.
During the presidential election, Tinubu emerged as the victor with a total of 8,794,726 votes, surpassing his opponents Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who secured 6,984,520 votes, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), who received 6,101,533 votes.
However, dissatisfaction with the election outcome prompted five political parties, including the PDP, LP, Action Peoples Party (APP), Allied Peoples Movement (APM), and the Action Alliance (AA), to independently file petitions with the tribunal, seeking to invalidate Tinubu’s victory.
During the pre-hearing session conducted in May, the APP and AA opted to withdraw their petitions, leaving three parties persisting in their challenge of the election result. The petitioners raised multiple concerns, chiefly revolving around the eligibility of both Tinubu and Kashim Shettima, the vice-president, to participate in the presidential poll. They alleged that Tinubu had been indicted for drug trafficking in the United States, that the academic certificates he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were forged, and that Tinubu held citizenship in Guinea. Furthermore, the petitioners contended that since Tinubu failed to secure 25 percent of the votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), he should not have been declared the victor of the February 25th election.
Following the presentation of the final written arguments by the legal representatives of Atiku and Obi, a five-member tribunal panel reserved judgment on August 1 2023.
The nation now eagerly anticipates the tribunal’s verdict, recognising the far-reaching implications it holds for the future of the presidency.