After almost 12 hours of judgement delivery in three separate petitions against the conduct of the 2023 presidential election, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has finally affirmed Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the lawful winner of the 2023 presidential election.
In the final decision of the Tribunal announced by Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani, the three petitions were found to be devoid of merit and were subsequently thrown out.
In the unanimous judgement of the five-man panel of Justices, the petitions of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Abubakar Atiku and that of the Labour Party, Peter Obi were found to have been predicated on hearsay that cannot be attached with any probate value.
All the four issues formulated in Atiku’s petition were resolved against him on the ground that he failed to adduce cogent and verifiable evidence to establish several allegations against Tinubu and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Justice Tsammani, who read the final decisions, said that the final forfeiture of $460, 000 by Tinubu in 1993 was not in consonance with the provisions of the Nigerian laws.
The Justices held that for the forfeiture to be used as punishment in Nigeria, there must be arraignment, plea taken, full trial, conviction and outright sentence.
They dismissed the allegations of non-compliance with the Electoral Act against INEC by Atiku on the uploading of election results, adding that the law recognized only manual collation of results.
In the same vein, Obi’s claim of securing majority of lawful votes was rejected on the ground that it was not backed up with any credible evidence.
“The two petitioners failed to establish how non use of BVAS machine substantially affected the election,” it held.
The Justices accused Obi and Atiku of using social media to harass and blackmail the Tribunal rather than cogent and verifiable evidence of facts.