In a pivotal moment that has gripped the nation’s attention, the Supreme Court of Nigeria has chosen to reserve its judgment in the high-stakes legal challenge brought by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, against the outcome of the 2023 presidential election.
The proceedings, led by Justice John Inyang Okoro and involving a 7-member panel of Justices, unfolded on Monday in the hallowed chambers of the Supreme Court. After a rigorous session that featured presentations and arguments from legal representatives for the parties involved, Justice Okoro declared the Court’s decision to reserve the final judgment.
The suspense now lingers as Nigerians await the verdict, with the Court expected to communicate the judgment date in due course.
Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s presidential candidate, remained unwavering in his pursuit to disqualify President Bola Tinubu from the 2023 presidential election. He argued that Tinubu did not meet the constitutional criteria for candidacy at the time of his nomination.
Leading the charge on Atiku’s behalf, his lead counsel, Chris Uche SAN, called upon the apex court to invoke constitutional provisions to nullify Tinubu’s electoral victory. The primary basis for Atiku’s plea for disqualification centered on allegations of certificate forgery and perjury.
In the event that outright disqualification does not occur, Atiku urged the Justice John Inyang Okoro-led panel to consider ordering a rerun of the election between himself and President Tinubu, citing these allegations.
However, President Bola Tinubu’s lead counsel, Wole Olanipekun SAN, fervently urged the Court to dismiss Atiku’s claims, asserting that they lacked substantive evidence and could not bear any legal weight until proven beyond a reasonable doubt, as required by law.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), represented by Abubakar Mahmoud SAN, also entered the fray, advocating for the dismissal of Atiku’s petition on the grounds of its lack of merit. The All Progressives Congress (APC), led by Chief Akin Olujinmi SAN, echoed Olanipekun’s position, calling for the swift dismissal of Atiku’s petition.
The stage is now set for the Supreme Court of Nigeria to deliberate on this pivotal case, and its judgment will undoubtedly shape the future of Nigerian politics. The nation watches with bated breath as the legal saga unfolds, with implications that could reverberate throughout the political landscape.