In a recent development, President Bola Tinubu has called upon the Supreme Court to reject an appeal filed by the 2023 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, seeking to nullify his election. President Tinubu, backed by a team of 17 lawyers, including 10 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, has urged the apex court to uphold the “well-considered decision of the Court of Appeal,” which dismissed Atiku’s joint petition against him and affirmed his election.
President Tinubu asserted that he was validly elected by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the February 25 presidential poll. He argued that he garnered 25% of the total votes in 29 states of the federation, while Atiku and the PDP secured 25% of the total votes in 21 states. This, he maintained, exceeded the constitutional requirement of 24.7 states, which is the mathematical result of two-thirds of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
The President also emphasized that Atiku and the PDP, dissatisfied with the election outcome, presented a petition to the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) on alleged non-compliance with electoral laws, corrupt practices, and other claims. However, President Tinubu contended that these allegations lacked substantial evidence and were vague and nebulous.
He further noted that witnesses called by Atiku affirmed that the election was conducted smoothly, with INEC complying with all prescribed procedures. President Tinubu urged the Supreme Court to dismiss Atiku’s appeal, arguing that it lacks merit and to uphold his election as the President of Nigeria, as he garnered the highest number of lawful votes and met all constitutional requirements.
Moreover, he highlighted the inconsistency in Atiku’s challenge to his qualifications, as Atiku also requested a run-off election with him, implying a belief that President Tinubu won the election. President Tinubu called for the dismissal of Atiku’s appeal and maintained that the findings of the lower court were rooted in law and demonstrated scholarship.
The Supreme Court has not yet set a date to commence the hearing on the presidential dispute.