TRIBUNAL UPHOLDS TINUBU’S PRESIDENCY, DISMISSES PETITIONS

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In a shocking ruling, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has affirmed Bola Tinubu’s election as the President of Nigeria. The tribunal declared that Tinubu secured a majority of lawful votes and that the petitions against him lacked merit.

The court addressed five key issues in the petitions, which its ruling are based on, and the jury’s clarification on each remains highly questionable. Firstly, it clarified that Abuja, now effectively Nigeria’s 37th state, no longer required the previous constitutional 25% votes in a presidential run. Secondly, it stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was not obligated to use Bi-modal Verification Accreditation System (BVAS). A submission that is contrary to what the INEC chairman said while stating the electors processes before the election.

Additionally, the electronic transmission of results was deemed discretionary.

Regarding Tinubu’s alleged $460,000 forfeiture to the United States government due to alleged drug dealings, the tribunal emphasized that it was a civil forfeiture and not a criminal matter. Lastly, it affirmed that Tinubu’s candidacy was both fit and proper.

The ruling, delivered by Justice Haruna Tsammani, came after over 12 hours of deliberation; the jury addressed the petitions filed by Atiku Abubakar, Peter Obi, and the Allied People’s Movement (APM). The tribunal unanimously held that the petitioners failed to substantiate claims of irregularities, malpractices, and non-compliance.

Specifically, Atiku’s petition lacked evidence of substantial non-compliance, corrupt practices, or other irregularities. The witnesses called by Atiku were considered insufficient, given the extensive nature of the elections; the tribunal claimed.

The tribunal also addressed allegations concerning Tinubu’s citizenship, and academic records. It maintained that these issues were not sufficiently pleaded and therefore could not be considered.

Furthermore, the tribunal dismissed the APM’s petition, deeming it incompetent and an abuse of court processes. The tribunal clarified that matters of unlawful nomination and sponsorship were pre-election issues, which should have been brought before the Federal High Court.

In summary, the tribunal’s ruling validated Tinubu’s presidency; highlighting that the petitions lacked substantial evidence of wrongdoing. The decision affirms the integrity of the electoral process and reinforces Tinubu’s legitimacy as the President of Nigeria.

Following the ruling, Nigerians have taken to different social media platforms to express their views: celebration, and disappointment alike. Some organisations and individuals congratulated the sitting President while others expressed dissatisfaction in the jury’s ruling.

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