In anticipation of the imminent judgement delivery by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja this Wednesday, both the military and police forces have unequivocally expressed their commitment to preventing any unlawful activities by potential troublemakers.
Tukur Gusau (Brig. General), the Director of Defence Information, warned those contemplating violent actions that day, urging them to abandon such plans.
The tribunal, in a statement on Monday, announced it would on Wednesday deliver judgment on the petitions challenging the declaration of Bola Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The Chairman of the INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, had on March 1 declared Tinubu the president-elect because his party scored the majority of votes cast in the poll.
The tribunal’s justices presiding over the verdict include Chairman Justice Haruna Tsammani, Justice Stephen Adah of the Court of Appeal (Asaba Division), Justice Monsurat Bolaji-Yusuf of the Court of Appeal (Asaba Division), Justices Moses Ugo (Court of Appeal, Kano), and Abba Mohammed of the Ibadan Division of the Court of Appeal.
In the 2023 poll, the former Lagos State governor polled 8.8 million to defeat the Peoples Democratic Party standard bearer, Atiku Abubakar, who scored 6.9 million, Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, who polled 6.1 million votes, and 15 other candidates.
However, five of the 18 political parties that participated in the elections turned to the court to contest the declaration by the electoral body.
Leading the charge against Tinubu’s electoral triumph are Atiku and Obi who have asked the tribunal to nullify the ex-Lagos governor’s victory in the February 25 presidential election.
Besides the PDP and the LP, other aggrieved parties included the Action Alliance, Action People’s Party, and the Allied Peoples Movement.
During the tribunal proceedings, the petitions of the Action Alliance (AA) and Action People’s Party (APP) were dismissed by the five-member panel led by Justice Tsammani following the formal withdrawal of the petitions by the parties.
In a comprehensive 66-page petition, Atiku called on the court to annul the election and order a fresh poll due to alleged irregularities in thousands of polling units. He also sought the withdrawal of the certificate of return issued to Tinubu by INEC, citing non-compliance with the Electoral Act of 2022 and allegations of corrupt practices.
He maintained that the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the presidential election was “invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.”