The Supreme Court has been actively addressing significant appeals related to the 2023 presidential election. In a recent ruling, the court dismissed the appeal filed by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), challenging the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), which affirmed President Bola Tinubu’s victory. Justice Inyang Okoro, leading a panel of seven justices, explained that hearing the APM’s appeal would be “a waste of the precious time of the court.”
The APM’s appeal revolved around the belief that the PEPC had misconceived material facts when it struck out the APM’s petition against Tinubu’s victory. The APM argued that the withdrawal of Kabiru Masari from the race, by operation of law, invalidated Tinubu’s candidature. The party urged the court to set aside the PEPC’s decision, asserting that it was misconceived.
Justice Okoro stressed the lack of necessity in hearing the appeal and urged the appellant to withdraw it, as the matter had already been decided. The APM, represented by its counsel, Mr. Chukwuma-Machukwu-Ume, SAN, reluctantly withdrew the appeal, which was subsequently dismissed by the seven-member panel.
Simultaneously, the Supreme Court has reserved judgement in appeals filed by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Mr. Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, both challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu. These appeals come after the PEPC dismissed Atiku and Obi’s petitions, affirming Tinubu’s election. The apex court’s seven-member panel, led by Justice Inyang Okoro, has heard the arguments and will communicate the judgment’s date to the parties.
In Atiku’s appeal, he asserted that the PEPC erred in its judgement, describing it as a miscarriage of justice. He claimed the lower court failed to nullify the presidential election due to non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022, which was based on grave misrepresentation. Atiku requested the Supreme Court set aside the PEPC’s findings and conclusions, which he argued did not represent the true picture of his petition.
Similarly, Peter Obi urged the apex court to set aside the PEPC’s judgement that dismissed his petition. The respondents, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), President Tinubu, and the All Progressives Congress (APC), have collectively urged the court to dismiss the appeals as lacking in merit.
These appeals come as Atiku and Obi challenge the PEPC’s decision to dismiss their petitions challenging President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 presidential election. Although the two petitions were consolidated, they were heard separately. The Supreme Court will make its judgement in these significant appeals known in the near future.