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Supreme Court Set to Rule on Presidential Election Appeals by Atiku and Obi Today

The culmination of the legal battle surrounding the presidential election that took place on February 25 is imminent, as a verdict is set to be delivered today by a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court. The appeals of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr. Peter Obi, who contested the election of President Bola Tinubu, will be ruled upon.

Atiku, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Obi, his counterpart from the Labour Party (LP), are seeking to invalidate President Tinubu’s election victory, where he ran under the banner of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Their initial challenge was unsuccessful at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) on September 6. Subsequently, they turned to the Supreme Court, where their appeals were heard earlier this week. On Monday, all parties, including Atiku, PDP, Obi, LP, Tinubu, APC, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), presented their final arguments. The judgment was reserved by the court, led by Justice Inyang Okoro.

The date of today’s judgment was communicated to all parties by the Supreme Court through a notice signed by one of its Registrars. The seven justices responsible for this landmark decision are Inyang Okoro, Uwani Abba-Aji, Lawal Garba, Ibrahim Saulawa, Adamu Jauro, Abubakar Tijjani, and Emmanuel Akomaye Agim.

Atiku and Obi’s Appeals: Atiku and Obi are contesting INEC’s declaration of Tinubu as the valid winner of the presidential election and are requesting the Supreme Court to overturn the PEPC’s September 6 judgment, which dismissed their claims of election rigging in favor of the APC. Furthermore, they argue that Tinubu did not secure the majority of valid votes during the election.

Notably, there were initially five petitions challenging the declaration of President Tinubu as the election winner, but only three of them reached the Supreme Court. Two of the petitions were withdrawn before being heard by the PEPC, leaving only Atiku and Obi’s appeals.

The Labour Party (LP) has expressed confidence in a favorable ruling, citing the quality and quantity of evidence presented and their convincing arguments before the Supreme Court.

Profiles of the Justices:
  1. Justice John Okoro Born on July 11, 1959, in Akwa Ibom State, Justice Okoro has served in various legal capacities and was elevated to the Supreme Court on November 15, 2013.
  2. Justice Uwani Musa Abba-Aji The most senior female jurist on the Supreme Court bench, Justice Abba-Aji was born on November 7, 1956, in Yobe State. She was appointed to the Supreme Court on January 8, 2019.
  3. Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba Justice Garba, born on November 16, 1958, hails from Zamfara State. He was elevated to the Supreme Court on November 6, 2020.
  4. Justice Ibrahim Saulawa Born on September 29, 1956, in Katsina, Justice Saulawa has a long and distinguished legal career. He was appointed to the Supreme Court on November 10, 2020.
  5. Justice Adamu Jauro Justice Jauro, from Gombe State, was born on June 26, 1959. He has held various legal positions and was elevated to the Supreme Court in October 2019.
  6. Justice Tijjani Abubakar Born on April 15, 1960, in Yobe State, Justice Abubakar has an extensive legal career, including private practice and public service. He was appointed to the Supreme Court in November 2020.
  7. Justice Emmanuel Agim Justice Agim, born on April 26, 1960, in Cross Rivers State, has served in various high-level legal positions. He was appointed to the Supreme Court in October 2019.

Notable Dissenting Verdicts: Justices Agim and Jauro were responsible for dissenting judgments in a previous case that could have affected the candidacy of former Senate President Ahmed Lawan in the 2023 general election. They maintained that Lawan was not qualified to contest the Yobe North Senatorial election, in contrast to the majority decision that favored Lawan.

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