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Supreme Court dismisses Atiku’s appeal, affirms Tinubu’s election

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and affirmed the ruling of the Presidential Elections Petitions Tribunal that upheld…

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and affirmed the ruling of the Presidential Elections Petitions Tribunal that upheld the victory of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress in the February 25, 2023 election.

The seven-man panel led by Justice Inyang Okoro held that the appeal lacked merit and “is hereby dismissed”.

In the notice of appeal, Atiku had urged the apex court to dismiss and set aside the September 6 judgement of PEPT, which affirmed the victory of President Tinubu.

But the panel in a unanimous judgment on Thursday held that the appeal lacked merit and ought to be dismissed.

“The election of the second respondent (Tinubu) is hereby upheld,” Justice Okoro said.

Earlier, the apex court resolved the seven issues raised by Atiku, including the non-transmission of election results, 25 percent score in the FCT, admission of fresh CSU evidence, removal of some paragraphs and witnesses and use of disparaging words by justices of the lower court in favour of Tinubu.

The court also dismissed Atiku’s application to file fresh evidence against President Bola Tinubu.

Atiku had asked the court to allow him file the evidence obtained from Tinubu’s record at Chicago State University.

The PDP Presidential Candidate had argued that Tinubu submitted forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

But Tinubu objected on the grounds that Atiku made the plea outside the 180 days stipulated period.

In his ruling, Justice Okoro said the time allotted to election petitions is fixed like the “Rock of Gibraltar” that cannot be extended or expanded.

He said, “It has to be noted that the 180 days imposed is immutable and cannot be extended… Election petitions are sui generis and have their own peculiarities… the court below lost its jurisdiction to determine any matter concerning the petition after the 180 days which expired on September 17. This court cannot do what the lower court is no longer constitutionally allowed to do by section 285 of the constitution.”

“No amendment can be made introducing new facts not contained in the election petition as stated in section 132(7) of the Electoral Act. This application clearly runs foul of the Electoral Act.”

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