Supreme Court dismisses Atiku’s Appeal, reaffirms Tinubu as winner
Written by AIGBOKHAEBHO OKHUELEIGBE on October 26, 2023
The Supreme Court has today, dismissed the appeal filed by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, to challenge President Bola Tinubu’s election.
The seven-member panel of the court unanimously dismissed the appeal after resolving all seven issues raised by the appellant in favour of Mr Tinubu.
The presiding justice of the panel, Inyang Okoro, who read the lead judgement, struck out the allegation by Atiku that failure to promptly upload the polling unit results of the election to IReV amounted to non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, thus, invalidating the election.
The court dismissed this argument, saying IReV was not a result collation platform, therefore failure to upload results onto it could not have invalidated the election.
The court also held that Mr Tinubu’s failure to score 25 per cent of the votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) when he had polled 25 per cent votes in over 24 states as required by law did not affect his victory in the election.
The court also held that Atiku failed to prove his allegation of widespread rigging during the election or that he won the election.
Justice Okoro said:
I am unable to find any figures put forward by the appellant that he scored the majority votes, other than the figures declared by INEC declaring the second respondent (Tinubu) winner of the election.
The votes before us show that the second respondent Tinubu won the election.
On the issue of use of disparaging words by the lower court against the appellant, Mr Okoro said “the words of the court were not meant to disparage the appellant” and did not amount to bias against appellant as argued by their lawyers. He said:
On the whole, having resolved all the issues against the appellant, I hold that there is no merit in this appeal and it hereby dismissed.
On that basis, he said the judgement of the PEPC delivered on 6 Septemeber, affirming Mr Tinubu as the duly elected President of Nigeria “is hereby affirmed.