The struggle has now moved to the court, where the Labour Party’s Mr. Peter Obi and the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Atiku Abubakar are attempting to have Bola Tinubu’s victory declared illegal following the completion of the 2023 presidential election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, proclaimed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, the victor of the election on February 25.
Results announced by INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu show that Tinubu won with 8,794,726 votes, defeating Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, who received 6,984, 520 and 6,101,533 votes, respectively.
The combined votes of all other political parties came to 666,298 while Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, or NNPP, received 1,496,687 votes.
Also, it was claimed that Tinubu received the required 25% of the votes from 24 States as outlined in the Electoral Act of 2022, as modified.
The LP and the PDP, however, have been protesting unfairness and claiming that they each won the poll.
Moreover, the ruling party is at odds with both the LP and the PDP.
On Wednesday, there were significant legal fireworks again in the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, and the court issued various decisions.
The LP’s Obi had asked for a court order to prevent the INEC from changing the configuration of the BVAS used for the poll. The party intends to use the BVAS to support its arguments in court. The application was rejected by the INEC, who said that it would have an impact on both the governorship and the State Houses of Assembly elections.
However, the court decided that the INEC should proceed with the BVAS reconfiguration. It based its decision on the INEC’s assertion that the measure would not have an impact on the BVAS data, which it claimed was already on its main server.
Okezie Ikpeazu’s senior special assistant on public communication, Sam Hart, summarized the decision as follows:
“Win-Win for both INEC & LP. Both requests granted.
“INEC assures Court that BVAS reconfiguration will not wipe data as they are saved in server back end.
“Judgment: LP – Inspect records;
“INEC – Reconfigure BVAS for March 11.”
Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Digital Media, in an interview with DAILY POST, discussed the likelihood that the LP candidate will successfully prosecute his claim that his mandate was stolen. Tony Ehilebo, a Barr, stated that the LP and its candidate must present sufficient proof that they won the election, particularly the 25% threshold needed from 24 states and the FCT.
“Well, you never know what a man has in his arsenal until he comes out and publicly declares war. Even the opponent he is coming to battle does not know all of the weapons he has at his disposal. You only need to observe. We’ll watch and wait, he said.
What states did you claim you won the necessary 25% of when you claimed to have won the election? In any case, I believe it to have been a pretty strong run for him in such a short period of time.
“I believe the case is more in favor of INEC’s significant compliance.
Did INEC follow the instructions it repeatedly promised will serve as the rules for the election? You are not above the law just because you are an umpire. Even the powerful Supreme Court is constrained by its statutes, he continued.
The President-elect, Tinubu, was also given permission by the Court on Wednesday to have direct access to the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) server in order to examine all of the materials utilized for the presidential election.
The electoral body must allow the President-elect to make photocopies of the documents during the inspection, the court ruled in a decision on Tinubu’s ex-parte plea.
The judge who made the decision, Judge Joseph Ikwegh, stated that he was convinced that Tinubu’s request to examine, view, and duplicate any papers needed for his particular purpose had merit.
The President-elect is entitled to access the INEC server and make copies for his use in defending his election against any challenges, according to Judge Ikwegh.
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