Home Latest Insights | News PEPT Judgment: Nigerians Cry Blue Murder As Tribunal Quashes Cases Against Tinubu

PEPT Judgment: Nigerians Cry Blue Murder As Tribunal Quashes Cases Against Tinubu

PEPT Judgment: Nigerians Cry Blue Murder As Tribunal Quashes Cases Against Tinubu

Nigerians are registering their displeasure as the Presidential Election Tribunal delivers its judgment on petitions against the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.

They have cried blue murder, describing the rulings of the PEPT led by Justice Haruna Tsammani as a miscarriage of justice. Other members of the Court of Appeal are: Justice Stephen Adah of the Court of Appeal Asaba division, Justice Misitura Bolaji-Yusuf of the Court of Appeal also of Asaba Division, Justice Boloukuoromo Ugoh of Kano Division and Justice Abba Mohammed of Ibadan Court of Appeal.

The PEPT on Wednesday announced its judgments on suits filed by the Labour Party (LP), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the APM challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu. 

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The petitioners had alleged that Tinubu did not qualify to contest the presidential election owing to his record of forfeiture of $460,000 in proceeds of drug trafficking to the U.S. government. They also alleged that the vice president, Abubakar Shettima, received a double nomination. 

The petitioners also contended that Tinubu did not score 25% of votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, as required by law. 

Tinubu’s education also came into question. The petitioners had questioned his claim that he graduated from Chicago State University, without any record of primary and secondary education.

Nevertheless, the bone of contention has been the outcome of the election – which was largely believed to be fraudulent. Voters, political parties, and observers said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) fraudulently swayed votes to favor Tinubu, thereby subverting the people’s will. 

Based on these and other issues, the petitioners; Peter Obi (LP) and Atiku Abubakar (PDP) had prayed to the tribunal to disqualify Tinubu, with each of them asking to be declared the winner. In the alternative, they asked the court to nullify the election and order a rerun.

However, delivering its judgment, the PEPT quashed most of the prayers. On the issue of INEC’s refusal to comply with the electoral law to transmit results from polling units to IREV in real-time, the court rules: On the substantial non-compliance with provisions of the electoral act as claimed by Peter Obi and the Labour Party, the court holds that INEC can’t be compelled to electronically transmit election results to its results viewing portal or IREV.

On the double nomination charge against Shettima, the court says “disqualification of a candidate on the basis of double nomination is a pre-election matter.” It added that the Vice President’s double nomination was not intentional.

On the forfeiture of $460,000 over an alleged drug case; the court says the case in a US district court in the state of Illinois was a civil matter and not a criminal one. It added that the LP failed to show evidence that Tinubu was arraigned, tried, fined, and sentenced for any criminal offense. The PEPT says Tinubu was not banned from entering the U.S., adding that the U.S. court’s judgment is an action against the property of the president and not an action against his person.

Ruling on the issues of corrupt practices that Obi and the LP alleged marred the election, which include: suppression of votes, inflation of votes, alteration of results, and overvoting, the court says:

“In Rivers and Benue states, during the collation, the petitioners alleged that INEC embarked on massive misrepresentations by uploading fictitious and incorrect votes and that if things had been done properly, they would have won the elections massively in those states. 

“Apart from the figures stated in those 2 states, the other allegations were nebulous. Apart from stating material particulars, other crimes must be pleaded and clearly set out. The proof must be beyond reasonable doubt. The petitioner must produce two sets of results, one genuine, and one false.”

The court also held that Obi’s argument that Tinubu did not score the mandatory 25% in the FCT is “irrelevant.” It says that “the FCT does not enjoy a special status and that Abuja is inhabited by Nigerians and that Abuja does not enjoy any special privilege.”

The PEPT also dismissed 10 out of the 13 witnesses of the Labour Party, saying they lacked probative value. It also held that the EU report on the outcome of the 2023 election was inadmissible.

These, among other judgments of the court centered on the cases of the APM and the LP, have so far been announced against the petitioners, upholding Tinubu’s presidency.

Nigerians cry blue murder

Following the rulings, Nigerians have been expressing their disappointment in the judicial system, saying among other things, that Nigerian courts are for sale.

“To you people thinking Peter Obi Lawyers didn’t file the case well, something is wrong in your head. Their opponents own the field. They own the ball. They own the referee,” Lola Okunri writes on X. “They own the VAR. Peter Obi lawyers cannot escape technicalities bla bla bla. If they do everything right, they will still bring out something. Does this look like sensible judgment to you? Celebrate your nonsense ke koshi danu.”

“Someone who did all that to get into power, you think they’ll just fold hands and wait for some judgment to determine if they will cling on to power or not? The earlier you realize this country is a circus, the sooner you have your peace of mind,” another X user writes.

“These Judges did a better job defending Tinubu than the legal team of Tinubu himself,” Toluwani said.


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