The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, on Wednesday, 6 September, 2023 affirmed President Bola Tinubu as the winner of the Saturday, 25 February, 2023 Presidential Election.
Reacting, President Tinubu hailed the verdict of the tribunal just as he also assured Nigerians of his renewed and energized focus on delivering his vision of a unified, peaceful and prosperous nation.
The five-man panel of the Tribunal was led by Justice Haruna Tsammani.
This development followed petitions filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar; the Labour Party and its candidate, Peter Obi, challenging the victory of Tinubu as the winner of the presidential election announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on March 1.
Tinubu scored a total of 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku and Obi, who polled 6,984,520 and 6,101,533 votes, respectively.
Reacting to his victory at the tribunal, Tinubu pledged that he is prepared to serve all Nigerians irrespective of their tribe, creed or religion.
According to a statement issued in New Delhi, India, by Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, the President welcomed the judgment of the tribunal with “an intense sense of solemn responsibility and preparedness to serve all Nigerians, irrespective of all diverse political persuasions, faiths, and tribal identities.”
It said the President recognised, “the diligence, undaunted thoroughness, and professionalism of the five-member bench, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani in interpreting the law.”
The statement added that the President affirmed that his “commitment to the rule of law, and the unhindered discharge of duties by the tribunal, as witnessed in the panel’s exclusive respect for the merits of the petitions brought forward, further reflects the continuing maturation of Nigeria’s legal system, and the advancement of Africa’s largest democracy at a time when our democratic system of government is under test in other parts of the continent.”
Tinubu expressed his belief that the presidential candidates and political parties that have lawfully exercised their rights by participating in the 2023 general elections and the judicial process, which followed, have affirmed Nigeria’s democratic credentials.
The President urged his “valiant challengers to inspire their supporters in the trust that the spirit of patriotism will now and forever be elevated above partisan considerations, manifesting into support for our Government to improve the livelihood of all Nigerians.”
It said President Tinubu thanked Nigerians for the mandate given to him to serve the country while promising “to meet and exceed their expectations, by the grace of God Almighty, and through very diligent hard work with the team that has been put in place for that sole purpose.”
Obi and his party, LP the APM, Alhaji A Atiku and the PDP) are, in their various petitions seeking the nullification of Tinubu’s election on the grounds of substantial non-compliance with the Constitution, the Electoral Act and INEC’s guidelines for the conduct of the presidential election, as well as double nomination of Vice President Kashim Shettima.
They also claimed that Tinubu was not qualified to contest the said election and that his declaration and return as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was illegal, null and void.
Five political parties had earlier filed petitions against Tinubu’s election, but, the Action Alliance (AA) and the Action Peoples Party (APP) withdrew their petitions, leaving the petitions by Obi, Atiku, their political parties and the APM.