Today, Wednesday, September 6, is a day of heightened anticipation, as the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) is slated to deliver a pivotal judgment. TVs will be tuned in across the nation, and radios will be buzzing with anticipation.
Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) are the petitioners. They’ll be holding their breath, hoping for a favorable outcome.
In this article, Wothappen.com delves into seven crucial factors that might prompt the removal of President Bola Tinubu from office.
Today’s much-anticipated petition tribunal judgment marks a significant moment in the presidential election saga. Every pathway seems to converge at the Federal Appeal Court in Abuja, where the momentous verdict will be delivered.
Awaiting the judgement is a five-member panel, spearheaded by the esteemed Justice Haruna Tsammani, who will ultimately decide the fate of the involved parties.
Diving into the depths of a complex legal dispute, this piece by Legit.ng explores the intricate web of reasons leading Atiku and Obi to demand the ousting of Tinubu:
1. Alleged manipulation of results, overvoting
President Bola Tinubu and the Independent National Electoral Commission were accused of collaborating to rig the election in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
During the tribunal, Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) told the election tribunal that the commission’s server logs showed manipulated election results.
He accused the electoral body of bias, noting that the election was not transparent.
2. Delay in electronic transmission of results
The delay in the electronic transmission of the presidential election results was a major bone of contention in the polls’ aftermath.
At the collation centre in Abuja at the international conference centre, Senator Dino Melaye, an ally and electoral agent of Atiku Abubakar, boldly stood up against the INEC chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu and challenged him on why INEC failed to observe due diligence in transmitting results.
This issue was transferred to court for a hearing, but the judge nullifieleced the case against INEC.
It was also deliberated at the presidential tribunal and could prove pivotal to today’s final judgment.
3. Twenty-five per cent votes in FCT
This is another tricky aspect of the case before the presidential election petition tribunal that could disqualify President Bola Ahmed Tinubu from the administrative seat of power.
The 25 per cent FCT votes have long been a tradition of the presidential election stipulated in the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 as amended.
As contained in Section 134(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), it states that:
“To be declared Presidential winner, a candidate must secure at least 1/4th (25%) of votes cast in 2/3rd of the entire 36 States of Nigeria (that is in 24 states). Also, the candidate must also secure not less than 25% of the votes cast at the FCT.”
A report by ThisDay interpreted it that “a candidate must secure 1/4th (25%) of votes cast in 2/3rd of the entire 36 States of Nigeria and 1/4th (25%) of votes cast in FCT. This provision is so clear, direct and unambiguous that you don’t need a Professor of Constitutional Law to comprehend. The use of the word “and” had been held by the Supreme Court to be conjunctive, which implies that the conditions in Section 134(2)(b) are conjunctive and mandatory.”
Going by the above explanation, President Tinubu is at risk of losing out as he did not meet this particular criterion and was decimated in Abuja during the election by Peter Obi.
4. Alleged double nomination (VP Kashim Shettima)
The controversy surrounding the double nomination ticket of Vice President Kashim Shettima in the build-up to the presidential polls is still a major issue that still needs clarity.
Shettima had purchased the APC nomination form for a seat in the Senate and had won the primary election before he was selected as the running mate to the Tinubu.
This sparked much controversy as he was accused of violating the Electoral Act of 2022 as amended.
Giving clarity on this issue, a constitutional lawyer, Festus Ogun, said another party cannot file litigation against such a move as it is solely an in-house party affair.
5. Alleged forged certificate (President Bola Tinubu)
There has been a back and forth over the credibility of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s academic records.
President Tinubu claims he graduated from the famous Chicago State University in Illinois, United States.
However, there are doubts about his academic records, and he has refused to make his academic records public.
6. Alleged drug conviction (President Bola Tinubu)
This has been a long-standing issue for President Tinubu as both Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi filed this petition against him at the presidential election tribunal.
It was gathered that Tinubu’s legal team admitted at the tribunal that their client forfeited $460,000 to the American government over the offence of narcotics trafficking and money laundering.
In the final address of Atiku, it was clearly stated that on account of this admittance, Tinubu had:
“No basis for contesting for Nigeria’s Presidency, let alone being declared as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
7. Alleged perjury on age, dual citizenship (President Bola Tinubu)
As part of the petition filed by Atiku and the evidence presented before the tribunal, President Tinubu was accused of possessing the citizenry passport of Guinea.
An earlier report by Wothappen.com revealed that the legal team of President Tinubu admitted that he held the citizenry passport of another country.
However, their argument in court stated that President Tinubu had forfeited his citizenry since 2020.
The petition in court holds the argument that it was a gross violation of the electoral act that should be considered to disqualify him.
Tribunal: PDP expresses optimism ahead of verdict
Paul Ibe, the media advisor to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), earlier told Wothappen.com that the evidence in court is enough to administer justice.