Appeal Court rejects legal battle to sack President Tinubu, as opposition parties head to Supreme Court


ABUJA – Nigeria’s Appeal Court has rejected challenges to Bola Tinubu’s narrow victory in February’s presidential election.

After an almost 10-hour verdict, judges said the petitions by his two main challengers were without merit.

BBC reports that both Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party and Peter Obi of the Labour Party had alleged widespread fraud.

Despite the election challenge, Tinubu was sworn into office on 29 May.

The election was the most fiercely contested since the end of military rule in 1999, with three strong candidates for the first time.

Tinubu won with 37 percent of votes cast, against 29 percent for Abubakar and 25 percent for Obi.

A presidential spokesman said Tinubu welcomed the judgment with an intense sense of solemn responsibility and preparedness to serve all Nigerians.

“It reflects the continuing maturation of Nigeria’s legal system, and the advancement of Africa’s largest democracy at a time when our democratic system of government is under test in other parts of the continent,” Ajuri Ngelale said in a statement.

The country was tense before Wednesday’s ruling, with increased security in the capital, Abuja.

The Labour Party has rejected the ruling.

“We reject the outcome of the judgment in its entirety because justice was not served,” party spokesman Obiora Ifoh said in a statement quoted by local media.

Read More: Amnesty International faults Zimbabwe elections, says opposition parties harassed, attacked

Lead justice Haruna Tsammani, who read the verdict, said the petitioners failed to prove allegations of corrupt practices and over-voting.

Tsammani also said that the petitioners failed to specify the polling units where they alleged that rigging took place.

“The petitioners failed to provide any credible evidence to prove their allegations of suppression of votes in their strongholds and the electoral commission was not bound to transmit results electronically,” he said.

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