The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) upheld Bola Tinubu’s victory in the 2023 presidential election, while the Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party both declared their opposition to the ruling.
Petitioners Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi are currently weighing their options, but President Tinubu has already congratulated him on his victory at the Tribunal and asked their candidates to support his government.
In a lengthy judgement issued on Wednesday, the five-member panel of justices rejected petitions against Tinubu, the candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Both sides have publicly criticized the verdict and said they want to discuss their options with legal counsel.
Representative for LP Obiora Ifoh said that the ruling “did not reflect the law and the desire of the people.”
On the other hand, “Nigerians were witnesses to the electoral robbery that took place on February 25, 2023, which was globally condemned,” he said. “But the Tribunal, in its wisdom, refused to accept the obvious.”
In other words, “Democracy is at stake, and we will not back down until the people win.” Our legal team’s perseverance in facing the full force of the law is inspiring. Although we lament the loss of Nigeria’s democratic institutions, we will not give up on the country.
After reviewing the certified true copy of the verdict and conferring with counsel, the responding party will provide additional information.
The ruling, as claimed by Nigeria’s largest opposition party, is “generous in technicalities” and contradicts the evidence presented.
PDPN’s National Publicity Secretary Debo Ologunagba said, “the judgement is against reason, against the facts and evidence presented to court, against the relevant electoral laws, guidelines, and regulations, and against the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).”
He said that the PDP’s lawyers would review the ruling and discuss possible future steps.
The PDP further stated that, “As a law-abiding political party, the PDP will conduct a thorough review of the judgement with our lawyers and decide on the next course of action within the confines of the law.”
“The PDP urges Nigerians to remain vigilant, calm, and united as our party continues to lead the charge to defend democracy and ensure that the will of the people, as expressed in the presidential election on February 25, 2023, is respected and restored.”
Despite their disapproval of the outcome, President Tinubu is encouraging their candidates to work with his administration to better the lives of Nigerians.
Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu’s media adviser, has declared that his principal is eager to engage with all Nigerians regardless of political, ethnic, or religious affiliations and has called on his detractors to join forces with him.
The President “urges his valiant challengers to inspire their supporters in the belief that the spirit of patriotism will now and forever be elevated above partisan considerations,” Ajuri said shortly after the verdict.
In a statement released on Monday, President Tinubu said, “Once again, President Tinubu expresses gratitude to Nigerians for the mandate bestowed upon him to serve our country, promising to meet and exceed their expectations by the grace of God Almighty and through very diligent hard work with the team assembled for that sole purpose.”