Supreme Court Dismisses Atiku, Obi’s Appeal, Upholds Tinubu’s Election

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed by the presidential candidates of PDP, Atiku Abubakar and that of Labour Party, Peter Obi against the September 6 judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).
This is even as the court upheld the victory of Bola Tinubu of the APC as the duly elected President of Nigeria during the February 25, presidential election.
In the lead judgment read by Justice John Okoro and supported by Justices Uwani Abba-Aji and Mohammed Garba Lawal on Thursday, the court resolved all the seven issues identified for determination against the appellants.
Justice Okoro noted that scoring 25% of votes in the FCT is not a mandatory requirement for declaration of a candidate as the winner of presidential election.
Section 134 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) stipulates that a presidential candidate must attain or score a majority of votes cast in a presidential election, where two or more candidates are involved, and at least 25% in two-thirds of the 36 States and FCT to meet the constitutional requirement to be declared as duly elected as President of Nigeria.
Justice Okoro hinted that the Federal Capital Territory does not hold a higher status than other States in the country.
The court held that the failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission to transmit election results electronically did not affect the outcome of the election and could not warrant the nullification of the result of the presidential election.
Counsel to Atiku, Chris Uche, SAN, had filed a 35-ground of appeal and faulted the tribunal’s ruling on electronic transmission of results, Tinubu’s qualification for the election, Federal Capital Territory votes, among others.
He prayed the apex court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.
Also, Obi through his lead counsel, Mr Levi Uzoukwu, SAN prayed the apex court to set aside the judgment of the PEPC that dismissed his petition.
Uzoukwu informed the court to allow the appeal of his client and grant all the prayers sought.
But the Supreme Court in its ruling stated that when IREV fails, it does not stop the collation of results, and the non-function of IREV does not reduce voters’ confidence.
Recall that PEPC had on September 6, dismissed Atiku and Obi’s petitions for lacking in merit and affirmed the election of President Bola Tinubu.
Irked by the judgment, the duo approached the Supreme Court asking it to overturn the judgment of the lower court in their favour.
Although both petitions were consolidated, they were heard separately.

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