The Supreme Court of Nigeria has upheld the election victory of President Bola Tinubu in the highly contested presidential race that took place on February 25, 2023.
The apex court’s ruling, which was delivered on Thursday, marks a pivotal moment in the nation’s political landscape.
The apex court resolutely dismissed the appeals lodged by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and his counterpart from the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi.
The seven-judge panel, presided over by Justice Inyang Okoro, rendered its judgment after meticulous consideration of the appeals that had alleged fraud, electoral law violations, and Tinubu’s purported ineligibility to contest the presidency.
In a striking and unequivocal pronouncement, Justice Inyang Okoro declared, “On the whole, having resolved all the issues against the appellant, it is my view that there is no merit in the appeal and it is hereby dismissed. The judgment of the court below delivered on September 6th, 2023, affirming the election of the second respondent as the duly elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is hereby affirmed.”
The apex court’s decision dashed the hopes of the PDP and Atiku Abubakar, who had persistently challenged the outcome of the election. The court’s ruling not only vindicated President Tinubu’s victory but also solidified his position as the rightful leader of Nigeria.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court swiftly addressed Peter Obi’s appeal, which had raised concerns about the double nomination of Vice-President Kashim Shettima. The court asserted that the issue had previously been deliberated upon in its ruling on May 26, and it could not be revisited.
Justice Okoro explained, “As for issue Number 4, which has to do with double nomination and was not included in Atiku’s appeal, it is the view of this court that this issue, having been dealt with previously, cannot be re-litigated. There must be an end to litigation.”
Highlighting the impracticality of revisiting the matter, he stated, “For us to sit down now and talk about when this man resigned or did not resign when they did fresh primaries to replace him, which we have done before, we are not going to do this again. This matter ought not to have come in. When this matter was pending at the trial court, this court delivered that judgment.
“If you read the judgment of the lower court, they mentioned that the Supreme Court has settled this matter and that should have been the end. You now bring this issue of double nomination for us to sit on it and write another judgment, this is not how it should be. This appeal lacks merit and is hereby dismissed.”
The Supreme Court’s resounding judgment sets a significant precedent for the country’s political landscape, reaffirming the finality of decisions previously rendered by the court. As the nation absorbs the outcome of this historic ruling, President Tinubu’s administration can now focus on the formidable challenges facing Nigeria as it embarks on the next phase of its development.