Nigeria’s Supreme Court confirms Tinubu as president

2023 10 26 NIGERIA BUDGET scaled
FILE PHOTO: Nigeria's President Bola Tinubu looks on after his swearing-in ceremony in Abuja, Nigeria May 29, 2023. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja/File Photo

Nigeria’s Supreme Court announced the decision to confirm the recent election of President Bola Tinubu, rejecting any legal challenges from the political opposition, and giving Tinubu the green light for his mandate as President. The challenges contended that the election was flawed, and that Tinubu was not eligible to run for president.

The two other candidates in the election, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, contested Tinubu’s victory. They claimed that he did not meet the minimum educational requirements to run, did not secure the necessary number of votes, and that the country’s election commission did not adhere to its own rules when collating and announcing the election results.

The majority ruling from the Supreme Court stated that the challenges were void, thereby bringing an end to a dispute that had placed Africa’s most populous nation in a state of uncertainty since the February election. Prior to Tinubu’s presidential win, Nigeria had been grappling with insecurity, foreign currency reserves shortages and double-digit inflation.

During a televised hearing in Abuja, the Supreme Court dismissed all the challenges presented by the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s Abubakar and the Labour Party’s Obi. The court upheld the election tribunal’s decision that Tinubu’s victory had followed the correct legal procedures. The court also declined to accept new evidence presented by Abubakar’s legal team, which they claimed proved that Tinubu had presented forged academic credentials from an American university. The court reasoned that this issue was not initially included as one of the grounds in the original petition, as required by the Nigerian Constitution’s timeframe for legal proceedings.

President Tinubu, who ran as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, welcomed the court’s decision, praising it for addressing all the issues raised in the petitions based on the merits of the law. After the Supreme Court’s announcement that this decision was final, Tinubu’s chief of staff made a statement urging all political parties to come together so “we can move this country forward together”.

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