The Justice Haruna Tsammani-led Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) based in Abuja is gearing up to determine the validity of three petitions that challenge the legitimacy of Tinubu’s election. The panel has requested all involved parties to finalize their arguments.
Legitimacy embattled president Tinubu was declared victorious in the presidential election that took place on February 25, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He was said to have surpass 17 other competitors.
Nonetheless, the results of the election have been contested by Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) flagbearer
Both Atiku and Obi assert that they were the rightful winners of the election, and they are questioning Tinubu’s capacity to compete. They maintain that Tinubu didn’t obtain the majority of legitimate votes and are asking for his Certificate of Return to be rescinded.
They propose a re-run of the election without Tinubu, asserting that he was never qualified to enter the race. Atiku has raised concerns about Tinubu’s date of birth, educational background, state of origin, and potential dual citizenship with Guinea. He has also put forward the argument that Tinubu’s degree certificate from Chicago State University is falsely attributed to him.
Obi and LP have similarly challenged Tinubu’s eligibility, citing past legal issues and penalties handed down by a US District Court for an offence involving dishonesty and drug trafficking. They accuse the INEC of violating its own regulations and guidelines.
If the petitions are found to be valid, the challengers are hopeful that Tinubu’s votes will be invalidated due to his disqualification, and that Obi, who they claim met all constitutional requirements, will be declared the winner. Alternatively, they are calling for a new election to be held, in which Tinubu, his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, and the APC would be barred from participating.
While five petitions were initially submitted, two parties, the Action Alliance (AA) and the Action Peoples Party (APP), have withdrawn their cases. The remaining petition from the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) argues that the withdrawal of Tinubu’s initial Vice-Presidential candidate invalidates his candidacy. This case is also under consideration.