Nigeria’s supreme court on Thursday upheld the ruling of an election tribunal that earlier affirmed the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the presidential poll held in February this year in Africa’s most populous country.
The apex court’s verdict, which was delivered in a unanimous decision by a seven-member panel of justices, came after several months of legal wrangling. The case was brought before the highest court in Nigeria by the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labor Party (LP), which had alleged irregularities in the election process.
The supreme court effectively dismissed petitions by the opposition parties and ruled that Tinubu was legitimately elected president of Nigeria, having met the constitutional requirements as laid out by law.
Abubakar Atiku of the PDP and Peter Obi of LP, who respectively came second and third in the presidential election won by Tinubu, had approached the court to dismiss the election results announced by the country’s election body.
Tinubu was declared the winner of the presidential election with over 8.7 million votes while Atiku and Obi polled over 6.9 million and 6.1 million votes, respectively.
On Sept. 6, a panel of five judges from the country’s election tribunal unanimously ruled that the petitions “lacked merit” and dismissed them, saying the PDP and LP, which filed the petitions, had failed to prove their allegations beyond reasonable doubt.
Both Atiku and Obi disagreed with the judgment of the election tribunal, saying they would further seek redress in court.
In his reaction to the verdict Thursday, Tinubu said he accepted the court’s ruling “with an intense sense of responsibility and a burning desire to meet the great challenges” that Nigerians were confronted with.
“The victory (of today) has further energized and strengthened my commitment to continue to serve all Nigerians of all political persuasions, tribes, and faiths, with honor and total respect for the diverse opinions and uniting values of our citizens,” he added.