Nigeria court dismisses bid to challenge election results, upholding Bola Tinubu’s victory
A Nigerian appeals court Wednesday (6 September) dismissed a petition by the opposition Labor Party challenging the legitimacy of President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February election.
The court’s judges dismissed claims made by the opposition leader, Peter Obi, who alleged voter fraud, argued that the electoral authority broke the law, and that Tinubu was ineligible to run for office. The five-member justice panel ruled that the third-place finisher Peter Obi and his Labour Party failed to prove claims of electoral malpractice against the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) in February’s disputed elections. The Court of Appeal rejected two out of the three petitions, with the last petition still under deliberation in a case that has put Africa’s most populous country on edge.
The challenges came after one of the country’s most tightly fought elections, in which former Lagos governor Tinubu won 37% of the vote, beating Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party to secure the presidency of Africa’s most populous nation. Abubakar and Obi had asked the court to invalidate the election, alleging irregularities.
Amid tight security in Abuja, various support groups chanted songs near the court premises to show solidarity with their political parties and to urge the judiciary to “do the right thing.” Since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999, all presidential elections but one have been contested in court but none were overturned. Tinubu took office in late May and has quickly introduced a set of reforms the government says will help put Africa’s largest economy back on track.