The battle has now moved to the court, where the Labour Party’s Mr. Peter Obi and the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Atiku Abubakar are attempting to have Bola Tinubu’s victory declared illegal following the completion of the 2023 presidential election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, proclaimed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, the victor of the election on February 25.
Results announced by INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu show that Tinubu won with 8,794,726 votes, defeating Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, who received 6,984, 520 and 6,101,533 votes, respectively.
Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, or NNPP, received 1,496,687,.while all of the political parties together received only 666,298 votes,
Also, it was claimed that Tinubu received the required 25% of the votes from 24 States as outlined in the Electoral Act of 2022, as modified.
However, the LP and the PDP have been protesting unfairness and claiming that they each won the poll.
Moreover, the ruling party is at odds with both the LP and the PDP.
On Wednesday, there were significant legal fireworks in the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, and the court issued various decisions.
The LP’s Obi had asked for a court order to prevent the INEC from changing the configuration of the BVAS used for the poll. The party intends to use the BVAS to support its arguments in court. The application was rejected by the INEC, which said it would impact both the governorship and the State Houses of Assembly elections.
However, the court decided that the INEC should proceed with the BVAS reconfiguration. It based its decision on the INEC’s assertion that the measure would not have an impact on the BVAS data, which it claimed was already on its main server.
Okezie Ikpeazu’s senior special assistant on public communication, Sam Hart, summarized the decision as follows:
“Win-Win for LP and INEC. Granting both demands.
“INEC assures Court that BVAS reconfiguration will not wipe data as they are saved in server back end.
“Judgment: LP – Inspect records;
“INEC – Reconfigure BVAS for March 11.”
The President-elect, Tinubu, was also given permission by the Court on Wednesday to have direct access to the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) server to examine all of the materials utilized for the presidential election.
The electoral body must allow the President-elect to make photocopies of the documents during the inspection, the court ruled in a decision on Tinubu’s ex-parte plea.
The judge who made the decision, Judge Joseph Ikwegh, stated that he was convinced that Tinubu’s request to examine, view, and duplicate any papers needed for his particular purpose had merit.
The President-elect is entitled to access the INEC server and make copies for his use in defending his election against any challenges, according to Judge Ikwegh.