The nation’s eyes are fixed on the Presidential Election Petition Court (Tribunal) as it prepares to deliver its long-awaited verdict today, bringing an end to five months of legal battles and suspense.
At the heart of this historic judgment are President Bola Tinubu, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and former Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi—key contenders in the fiercely contested February 25, 2023 presidential election.
In that election, Tinubu emerged as the declared winner by the Independent National Commission (INEC), representing the All Progressives Congress (APC). Atiku, on the other hand, ran on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while Obi flew the flag of the Labour Party (LP).
The stakes are high, with multiple petitions challenging the election results. Atiku, Obi, PDP, and LP have each presented arguments urging the court to nullify Tinubu’s election and either award victory to Atiku, Obi or order a re-run while disqualifying Tinubu in the process.
A third petition, lodged by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), argues that the withdrawal of Mr. Masari, initially nominated as the Vice-Presidential candidate of the APC, invalidated Tinubu’s candidacy, citing Sections 131(c) and 142 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
In response, Tinubu, APC, and INEC have vehemently called for the dismissal of these petitions, urging the court to affirm Tinubu’s election as President.
As the nation awaits the tribunal’s judgment, there are six possible outcomes:
Affirm Tinubu’s election: The court may choose to uphold Tinubu’s victory, citing that any irregularities observed during the polls were not sufficient to invalidate the election.
Disqualify Tinubu and declare Atiku as the winner: Another potential outcome is the disqualification of Tinubu, nullifying his election, and declaring Atiku as the rightful winner.
Annul Tinubu’s election and declare Obi as the winner: The court could annul Tinubu’s election and declare Peter Obi as the winner of the presidential poll.
Cancel the elections and order a fresh poll among the 18 candidates: In a more drastic move, the court might opt to cancel the entire election and call for a fresh poll, allowing all 18 candidates to participate.
Order a re-run between Tinubu and Atiku: A specific re-run between the top two contenders, Tinubu and Atiku, is also on the table.
Order a re-run between Atiku and Obi: Lastly, the court may decide to hold a re-run exclusively between Atiku and Peter Obi.
The fate of these key political figures and, to a large extent, the nation’s political landscape hinges on the judgment of the five justices presiding over this landmark case.
As the nation holds its collective breath, the tribunal’s decision will undoubtedly have profound implications for Nigeria’s democracy, setting the stage for the next chapter in its political journey.
Bisina Somto is an entertainment journalist known for her compelling movie, music, and Reality TV show reviews.
Her insightful analyses and nuanced viewpoints captivate readers, demonstrating her prowess in covering various aspects of the entertainment realm.