Atiku Abubakar, the presidential nominee for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has filed a petition with the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to challenge the declaration of Bola Tinubu from the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the elected President.
Atiku Abubakar’s decision to file a petition with the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has sparked controversy and heightened tension in the Nigerian political landscape. The PDP presidential nominee’s move was aimed at challenging the legitimacy of Bola Tinubu’s presidency, following his declaration as the elected President-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the February 25, 2023, presidential election.
The petition, which was marked: CA/PEPC/03/2023, listed INEC, Tinubu, his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the first to fourth respondents. Atiku’s legal team, led by Silas Joseph Onu, confirmed the filing on Tuesday evening.
Hours earlier, the Labour Party (LP) and its candidate, Mr Peter Obi, had also filed a similar petition at the election petitions tribunal in Abuja, challenging Tinubu’s status as the winner of the presidential election. The LP’s petition demanded that INEC should retrieve the certificate of return issued to the APC candidate and issue a fresh one to Obi.
According to Channels TV, Atiku Abubakar’s legal team, who filed the petition with the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, have presented a compelling case for the tribunal to rule that Bola Tinubu was not duly elected by a majority of the lawful votes cast at the election. The petitioners argue that there were irregularities, malpractices, and other electoral offenses committed during the election, which resulted in Tinubu being declared the winner.
The petitioners are therefore praying for the tribunal to declare the election results invalid and void, and to order a rerun of the presidential election. They also want the tribunal to mandate INEC to retrieve the certificate of return issued to the APC candidate and issue a fresh one to Peter Obi, the LP candidate, who they claim won the election based on the lawful votes cast.
The unfolding legal drama has created a sense of uncertainty among Nigerians, who are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the tribunal’s deliberations. While some believe that Atiku’s petition has merit and could lead to a rerun of the presidential election, others feel that it is a desperate attempt to undermine the democratic process and subvert the will of the Nigerian people.
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