In a highly anticipated and historic development, the Supreme Court of Nigeria is set to render its long-awaited judgment today, Thursday, October 26, 2023, regarding two appeals filed by prominent political figures challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.
The appeals, brought forth by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, contest the validity of the election results that saw President Bola Tinubu declared as the winner.
The apex court’s decision comes following weeks of intense legal proceedings and arguments that have gripped the nation’s attention. On Monday, the Supreme Court had concluded hearings on the appeals and subsequently reserved its judgment, promising to communicate the judgment date to all involved parties.
However, the latest twist in this high-stakes legal battle emerged on Wednesday when the Supreme Court’s Director of Press and Information, Dr. Festus Akande, officially announced that the Supreme Court would deliver its final verdict on October 26, thus setting the stage for a monumental day in Nigeria’s political history.
At the heart of the dispute lies Atiku Abubakar’s assertion that the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), which validated Tinubu’s victory, is fundamentally flawed.
He further requested permission to submit a copy of President Tinubu’s academic records from Chicago State University (CSU), USA, which he claims contain evidence that Tinubu presented a forged CSU certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Furthermore, the former vice president has sought the intervention of a Washington, D.C. court to compel the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to release documents concerning President Tinubu’s $460,000 forfeiture case.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, are pursuing the annulment of the lower court’s judgment. Leading their legal team, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN) has passionately appealed to the Supreme Court to set aside the previous judgment and give a fresh perspective to the case.
Conversely, the legal representatives for INEC, President Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima, and the All Progressives Congress (APC), including Abubakar Mahmoud, Afe Babalola (SAN), and Akin Olujinmi (SAN), vehemently argued that the appeal from the Labour Party and its candidate lacked merit and should be dismissed by the Supreme Court.
As Nigeria holds its breath, the impending judgment of the Supreme Court promises to provide a defining moment in the country’s political landscape. Millions of Nigerians await the court’s decision, which will determine the course of the nation’s leadership for years to come.