…. “Opposition Fought a Good Fight”- Buhari
The Supreme Court of Nigeria on Thursday, October 26, affirmed the victory of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the February 25, 2023, Presidential elections while dismissing the appeal filed by Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, the candidates of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party respectively for lacking in merit.
The apex court’s 7-man panel led by Justice Inyang Okoro unanimously upheld the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court which affirmed the election of President Tinubu on September 6, 2023.
Okoro in his judgement said, “On the whole, having resolved all the issues against the appellant, it is my view that there is no merit in the appeal, and it is hereby dismissed,” Justice Inyang Okoro said in dismissing Atiku’s appeal.
According to him, “The judgment of the court below delivered on September 6th, 2023, affirming the election of the second respondent as the duly elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is hereby affirmed.”
He further said that “As for issue Number 4 which has to do with double nomination which was not in Atiku’s appeal, it is the view of this court that this issue having been dealt with by this court, this court cannot allow the matter to be re-litigated in this very court. There must be an end to litigation,”
“For us to sit down now and talk about when this man resigned or did not resign when they did fresh primaries to replace him which we have done before, we are not going to do this again.
“This matter ought not to have come in. When this matter was pending at the trial court, this court delivered that judgment. If you read the judgment of the lower court, they mentioned that the Supreme Court has settled this matter and that should have been the end.
“You now bring this issue of double nomination for us to sit on it and write another judgment, this is not how it should be. This appeal lacks merit and is hereby dismissed.” Okoro submitted.
On 25% votes in Abuja, Justice Okor rhetorically asked that “Are you saying if someone scores 25% votes in 30 states but not in Abuja, he should not be president? Is that how you interpret the law? That is not the law. Supreme Court agrees with the Court of Appeal,”
Reacting to the judgment, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, while accepting the verdict in a statement titled ‘It is time for us to build our great nation together.’, said “With deep gratitude to God Almighty, I solemnly and humbly accept today’s judicial victory with an intense sense of responsibility and a burning desire to meet the great challenges confronting our people,”
Tinubu also said “I welcome the verdict of the Justice John I. Okoro-led Panel of the Supreme Court on the Presidential Election petitions filed by the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party, challenging the ruling of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
“The court has done justice to all issues put up for consideration in the petitions on the merits of the law, without fear or favour.”
“Our Renewed Hope agenda for a greater and prosperous Nigeria has further gained momentum and I will continue to work from morning to night, every single day, to build a country that meets our collective yearnings and aspirations,” he added.
Muhammadu Buhari, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in his reaction through a statement by Garba Shehu, his spokesperson, described the Supreme Court’s decision on Thursday as a “reaffirmation of the will of the majority of the people against the determined will of a hard-fighting minority.
“Now that we have arrived at the last bus stop, after a tortuous 8-month of expensive legal journey, the nation deserves a break. The opposition has fought a good fight. Having now exhausted their rights as constitutionally allowed, they should take the hand of fellowship extended by the Tinubu/Shettima government. Let them allow the government to run their administration and the people to enjoy the full benefits of the promises the All Progressives Congress (APC) made.” Buhari said.
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