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Fri, Sep 8, 2023 8:30 AM

Nigeria's Opposition Candidates to Appeal Tribunal Ruling in Presidential Election Dispute

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Nigeria's Opposition Candidates to Appeal Tribunal Ruling in Presidential Election Dispute
Nigeria's main opposition candidates, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, are set to appeal a tribunal ruling that affirmed Bola Tinubu's victory in the disputed presidential election held in February. The candidates allege irregularities and failure by the electoral agency to post results electronically. The Presidential Election Petition Court dismissed their petitions, prompting them to seek justice at the higher court, the Supreme Court.

Following the recent tribunal ruling that upheld Bola Tinubu's victory in Nigeria's disputed presidential election, the country's main opposition candidates, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, are intensifying their efforts to seek justice and have announced their plans to appeal the ruling. The candidates have long claimed that the election was marred by irregularities, including vote fraud and the electoral agency's failure to post results electronically.

The candidates had approached the Presidential Election Petition Court, urging it to nullify the election and disqualify Tinubu, who emerged as the winner. In a judgment that lasted over 11 hours, the court dismissed their claims point-by-point, in what has become a familiar pattern in Nigeria's election history. No legal challenge to the outcome of a presidential election has succeeded in the country since its return to democracy in 1999.

Expressing their dissatisfaction with the ruling, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi took to the media to announce their decision to file an appeal at the Supreme Court, as provided for by the Nigerian constitution. Atiku argued that the court's judgment lacked substantial justice, emphasizing his refusal to accept the ruling.

"I refuse to accept the judgment because I believe that it is bereft of substantial justice," Atiku remarked during a press conference. "Consequently, I have asked my lawyers to activate my constitutionally guaranteed rights of appeal to the higher court, which, in the instance, is the Supreme Court."

Peter Obi, on the other hand, while acknowledging the tribunal's views, expressed his disagreement with the judgment and vowed to challenge it through the appeal process. He emphasized the quest for justice not only for himself but also for their supporters whose mandate he believed was “regrettably truncated” during the election.

Legal experts expect the appeal process to be initiated within 14 days from the date of the tribunal ruling, allowing the Supreme Court 60 days to hear the case and make its ruling. The filing of the appeal would mark the start of what promises to be a significant legal battle and could potentially determine the course of Nigeria's political landscape.

The credibility and independence of Nigeria's judicial system will likely come under scrutiny as the appeal progresses. A fair and transparent resolution of the dispute is crucial to maintain public confidence in the electoral process and the democratic system as a whole.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-08 News

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