Emma Johnson
Thu, Sep 7, 2023 7:35 AM

Nigeria's Appeals Court Upholds President Tinubu's Election Victory

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Nigeria's Appeals Court Upholds President Tinubu's Election Victory
Nigeria's Court of Appeal has rejected petitions filed by the opposition challenging the legitimacy of President Bola Tinubu's victory in the February election. The court ruled that the opposition parties were unable to provide sufficient evidence of voting irregularities or to question Tinubu's qualifications. The verdict can still be appealed at the Supreme Court within 60 days.

The Court of Appeal in Nigeria has dismissed the petitions filed by three opposition parties challenging President Bola Tinubu's victory in the February election. The court ruled that the parties failed to provide enough evidence to support their claims of voting irregularities and to question Tinubu's qualifications.

The opposition parties, including the Peoples Democratic Party, the Labour Party, and the Allied Peoples Movement, had alleged that the announcement of the election results was illegal and that Tinubu was not qualified to run for president due to his alleged citizenship of Guinea and lack of academic credentials.

The five-member justice panel in the Court of Appeal ruled that the opposition parties could not prove that the election commission did not follow due process in announcing the results or that the voting was marred by irregularities. The court also rejected the claim that Tinubu was once indicted on drug charges in the United States, which would disqualify him from running for president.

Head of the panel, Haruna Tsammani, stated that the petitioners failed to provide "cogent, credible, and acceptable evidence" to support their cases. The court also dismissed a petition by the Allied Peoples Movement, which questioned the eligibility of Tinubu's running mate, Vice President Kashim Shettima.

Despite the court's ruling, the opposition parties have not yet announced if they will appeal the decision. They have 60 days to file an appeal at the Supreme Court.

In response to the court proceedings, various support groups held protests near the court premises to show solidarity with their political parties and to urge the judiciary to uphold justice.

The Court of Appeal has the power to uphold Tinubu's election victory, order a new election, declare another candidate as the winner, or annul the vote. However, given Nigeria's history, it is unlikely that the judges would annul the presidential election.

Since Nigeria's return to democracy in 1999, most presidential elections have been contested in court, with none being overturned.

Tinubu, who is currently attending the G20 summit in India, has consistently denied the allegations made against him by the opposition. In his absence, the Nigerian government urged citizens to remain patient and trust in Tinubu's plans to reform the country's economy.

The election was described by observers as an improvement from the previous one, although there were concerns about the delay in announcing the results which could have allowed room for ballot tampering. Critics have also noted that some of Tinubu's economic reforms have negatively impacted millions of poor Nigerians.

The rejection of the petitions has been met with mixed reactions, with supporters of the ruling party expressing relief and opposition supporters expressing disappointment. The appeals court ruling highlights the importance of strong evidence when challenging election results in Nigeria, where the judiciary plays a crucial role in maintaining the democratic process.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-07 News

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