THE die is cast and the stage is set. After five months of legal fisticuffs, the Presidential Election Petition Court (Tribunal) will decide the fate of President Bola Tinubu, former vice President Atiku Abubakar, and former Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi,
The trio were the leading presidential candidates in the February 25, 2023 presidential poll. While Tinubu, who was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, ran on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC; Atiku contested on the banner of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; and Obi flew the flag of the Labour Party, LP.
Atiku, Obi, PDP and LP separately want the court to nullify Tinubu’s election, award the victory to Atiku or Obi, and disqualify Tinubu.
There is also a third petition lodged against President Tinubu by the Allied Peoples Movement, APM.
Specifically, APM contended that the withdrawal of Mr. Masari, who was initially nominated as the Vice-Presidential candidate of the APC, invalidated Tinubu’s candidacy in view of Section 131(c) and 142 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Countering the petitioners, Tinubu, APC, and INEC urged the court to dismiss the petitions of the petitioners and affirm Tinubu’s election.
7 options before the court
As it is, there are three options before the court, namely:
Disqualify Tinubu, nullify his election and declare Atiku winner
Annul Tinubu’s election and declare Obi winner
Cancel the elections and order a fresh poll among the 18 candidates
Cancel the elections and order a re-run between the best two
Order a re-run between Tinubu and Atiku
Order a re-run between Atiku and Obi
The five justices Who’ll decide Tinubu’s, Atiku’s, Obi’s fate
The four men and one woman, who will take one of the above options are:
Justice Haruna Tsammani, Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal and head of the panel; Justice Stephen Adah, Court of Appeal (Asaba division); Justice Monsurat Bolaji-Yusuf, Court of Appeal (Asaba Division); Justice Moses Ugo, Kano division; and Justice Abba Mohammed, Ibadan Court of Appeal.