Nigeria’s presidential election tribunal on Wednesday, September 6 dismissed the election petition challenging President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s victory.
The tribunal dismissed Peter Obi’s election petition, explaining that the Labour Party leader’s case lacked merit.
According to the tribunal, opposition parties failed to prove claims of electoral malpractice against the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) in February’s elections.
“This petition is hereby declared unmeritorious,” one of the judges said, as the tribunal rejected the opposition challenge to Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s win.
The electoral body had declared former Lagos governor Tinubu, president after attaining 37 percent of the vote, beating Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party.
Abubakar and Obi had disputed the elections and filed petitions in court, seeking to invalidate the results over alleged irregularities.
This is not the first time for opposition candidates to challenge presidential elections in Nigeria since 1999, but all petitions were rejected.
However, Atiku and Obi still have a chance to appeal the tribunal ruling at the Supreme Court. According to the constitution of Nigeria, the two opposition candidates can file an appeal within 60 days.
Free and fair elections
Tinubu’s government had defended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), terming the election as free and most transparent.
Nigeria has a population of approximately 200 million people but only 87 citizens were registered voters.
Interestingly, President Tinubu was declared winner in the February election after garnering 8.79 million votes.
INEC maintained it conducted free and fair elections, especially after introducing biometric technology and IReV, which ensured real-time results transmission.
High cost of living
Tinubu had taken over power from former president Muhammadu Buhari, at a time when the government was struggling with unemployment and the high cost of living.
At the same time, State officials have called for patience, arguing that the government needs time to formulate policies needed to revive the economy.