Tribunal’s judgement on presidential election to be broadcast live on TV


The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) will finally announce its ruling on the legitimacy of the election of President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday, September 6, 2023.

The former Lagos governor won a close contest in February, but Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), who finished second and third respectively, have challenged the result at the tribunal.

Weeks after all the affected parties delivered closing arguments, the tribunal has announced readiness to deliver its much-anticipated judgement, according to a report by Channels TV.

The registrar of the Court of Appeal, Umar Bangari, said the proceedings will be open to live broadcast by interested television stations.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Tinubu of the All-Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the closely fought February 25 election, but the result was mired in controversy.

The messy electronic transmission of the results from polling units cast a shadow over the election and has become a burden on Tinubu’s legitimacy.

The claims against Tinubu

Atiku Abubakar (left) and Peter Obi (right) are both claiming to have won the election, not Tinubu [Daria Media]

Five political parties, with or without their candidates, filed petitions before the tribunal within weeks after the election.

The Action Alliance (AA) and Action People’s Party (APP) later withdrew their petitions, but the Allied People’s Movement (APM) is also expecting a ruling from the tribunal on Wednesday alongside the PDP and LP.

In Obi’s petition, he said Tinubu was not qualified to contest, to begin with, due to his narcotics case in the United States.

The former governor forfeited $460,000 to the United States government in 1993 after funds found in bank accounts linked to him were identified as proceeds of drug trafficking.

Obi further claimed that Tinubu’s failure to secure 25% of the votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) nullifies his opponent’s victory, as arguably implied in the constitution.

Atiku also argued that Tinubu’s alleged secret ownership of a Guinean passport should disqualify him, a revelation that wasn’t made public until after he won the election.

Both candidates have asked the tribunal to declare each of them the legitimate winner, or order a fresh election, possibly with Tinubu disqualified.

The cases didn’t stop the APC candidate’s inauguration as Nigeria’s president on May 29, taking over from his party mate, Muhammadu Buhari, who spent eight years in office.