Lagos — A high-stakes political showdown is on the horizon as President Bola Tinubu squares off against his formidable opponents: Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Mr. Peter Obi, and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) at the hallowed chambers of the Supreme Court.
As the legal battle intensifies, President Tinubu’s camp, alongside the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), eagerly anticipates a favorable ruling from the nation’s highest court.
In this legal melee, Atiku, the PDP’s presidential candidate in the February 26th election, Peter Obi of the Labour Party, and the APM have each filed individual appeals at the Supreme Court, aiming to overturn President Tinubu’s election.
The hearing date at the Supreme Court was communicated to all parties through official notices dispatched last Thursday, setting the stage for an impending legal drama.
Atiku’s appeal is a multi-pronged assault on the previous verdict delivered by the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), which validated Tinubu’s election. In addition to contesting the PEPC’s judgment, Atiku is seeking permission to introduce evidence pertaining to Tinubu’s academic records from the Chicago State University (CSU) in the USA, which he claims indicates that Tinubu submitted a forged CSU certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Furthermore, Atiku is actively pursuing documents from a Washington, D.C. court related to President Tinubu’s $460,000 forfeiture case.
Amid this legal maneuvering, the PDP remains steadfast in its belief that their appeal at the Supreme Court is firmly grounded in the constitutional and electoral law provisions.
However, in a swift response, Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser on Information and Strategy to President Tinubu, accuses Atiku and Obi’s supporters of attempting to sway the Washington, D.C. court’s previous order to release documents concerning President Tinubu’s 1993 forfeiture case. Onanuga dismisses their actions as mere propaganda and falsehood.
Collectively, all appellants are united in their pursuit of overturning the PEPC’s judgment, which endorsed Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 presidential election.
Atiku’s appeal is multifaceted, challenging the PEPC’s decision on multiple fronts, including allegations of non-compliance with the Electoral Act. His argument extends to the purported failure of electronic transmission of election results, and a dispute over whether the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) can be counted as the 37th state of Nigeria, as decreed by the lower court.
Peter Obi contends that the PEPC erred in dismissing his petition, arguing that the lower court failed to duly evaluate the evidence, particularly concerning irregularities during the election and blurred results on INEC’s IReV portal.
The APM steadfastly maintains its position that President Tinubu was ineligible to participate in the presidential poll and vehemently disapproves of the PEPC’s reliance on technicalities to dismiss their petition.
As the Supreme Court prepares to deliberate on these appeals, the nation holds its breath, recognizing the pivotal moment in the post-election landscape where each side seeks to present its arguments and evidence in the quest for justice and the validation of democratic principles.