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Wed, Sep 6, 2023 11:45 PM

Nigeria's Presidential Election Tribunal Rejects Opposition Challenge to Tinubu's Win

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Nigeria's Presidential Election Tribunal Rejects Opposition Challenge to Tinubu's Win
The Nigerian presidential election tribunal has rejected the opposition's challenge to Bola Tinubu's win in February's disputed vote. This follows a pattern of legal challenges being dismissed and Nigeria's history of electoral fraud. Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, who came second and third respectively, alleged irregularities in the election. The tribunal ruled that the petitions lacked sufficient evidence to back their claims. While Tinubu's win has been accepted by the international community, the low voter turnout and economic challenges limit the goodwill towards him.

The Nigerian presidential election tribunal has dismissed the opposition challenge to Bola Tinubu's win in February's disputed vote, reaffirming a longstanding pattern seen in previous election years in Africa's most populous country.

Since its return to democracy in 1999, Nigeria has never seen a legal challenge to the outcome of a presidential election succeed. The country has a history of electoral fraud, which has raised doubts about the transparency and credibility of the electoral process.

In this case, Atiku Abubakar of the People's Democratic Party and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, who secured second and third places respectively, had petitioned the tribunal to invalidate the election results based on alleged irregularities.

The tribunal, comprising five justices, led by Judge Haruna Tsammani, rejected Peter Obi's petition point by point, labeling it as "unmeritorious". Tsammani asserted that there was a lack of credible evidence to support Obi's claims of irregularities.

It is likely that Atiku's petition will also meet the same fate, as the tribunal's ruling is expected to remain consistent throughout.

While the European observers reported operational failures and a lack of transparency during the electoral process, resulting in reduced public trust, the opposition's challenge did not gain significant traction or popular support. As a result, Bola Tinubu has been recognized as Nigeria's legitimate leader by the international community.

Tinubu was in India to participate in the G20 summit when the tribunal announced its ruling. However, this ruling is not the end of the road for Atiku and Obi, as they have the option to appeal to Nigeria's Supreme Court and attempt to have the tribunal's ruling overturned. Any such appeal must be concluded within 60 days of the tribunal judgment.

Despite the favorable ruling for Tinubu, the low voter turnout of only 29% and the challenging economic conditions present obstacles for his presidency. With a population exceeding 200 million and 87 million registered voters, Tinubu's victory was based on securing just 8.79 million votes, the lowest for any democratically elected president in Nigeria's history.

Tinubu now faces the daunting task of addressing anaemic economic growth, high unemployment, soaring inflation rates, mounting debt, rampant oil theft that has crippled government revenue, and widespread insecurity left behind by his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari.

In an effort to tackle these challenges, Tinubu has undertaken a series of reforms, such as the removal of the costly petrol subsidy and currency controls. However, these reforms have encountered resistance from labor unions, which recently organized a two-day general strike and are now planning additional protests.

Alex Morgan

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-06 News

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