By Hon Segun Olulade
In a historic decision that has sent ripples of excitement and hope throughout Nigeria, the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, led by the eminent Justice Haruna Tsammani, upheld the election of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as the deserved winner of the Saturday, 25 February, 2023 presidential election.
All the five members of the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, unanimously affirmed “The Jagaban of Africa “ as the validly elected President of Nigeria, a landmark and decisive judicial resolution of the credibility questions that had hovered around his election for over six months.
In a fiercely 12-hour-long judgement, the panel of judges dismissed all petitions challenging Asiwaju’s election in their lead judgement, after taking turns to adopt the reasoning and conclusion of the lead judgement.
The panel which members include; Justice Stephen Adah, Justice Mistura Bolaji-Yusuf, Justice Boloukuoromo Ugo, and Justice Abba Mohammed, unanimously stressed the total lack of credible evidence adduced by the petitioners, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi to support their cases and described some of their legal arguments as “fallacious and ridiculous”.
•The panel of Justices dismissed all the arguments and the evidence provided by the petitioners, adding that the petitions were not supported by “credible evidence”.
•The court highlighted procedural blunders committed by the petitioners’ legal teams.
•That the petitioners failed to comply with strict legal and judicial authorities that mandate petitioners to file the statements on oath of all their witnesses along with their petitions or before the close of the three-week window for filing an election petition.
•The court dismissed a substantial number of paragraphs of the petitions that were adjudged to be “vague”, “imprecise”, and “generic” with no particulars, such as the details of polling units where alleged irregularities took place.
•On winning 25 per cent of the lawful votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory, the court said all votes are equal, as such, the votes of the federal capital voters could not have superior value over those cast by Nigerians living in other states of the Federation.
•The court dismissed the issue of the judgement of a US District Court in Northern Illinois, which ordered the forfeiture of $460,000 belonging to Tinubu, and said it could not be a basis for disqualifying him from running for the Presidency.
•The court ruled that the Supreme Court had decisively decided the alleged double nomination of Shettima as APC’s Vice Presidential Candidate and Borno Central candidate as untrue.
•The court also held that the failure of INEC to upload polling unit results to IReV, an online portal accessible by the public to view scanned copies of the result sheets in real time, did not invalidate the election results.
•The court said the collation process of results recognised by law is manual, adding that IReV “is not a collation system”.
It is therefore with great pride and enthusiasm that I extend my heartfelt congratulations to “The Lion of Bourdillon”, President Tinubu, on this remarkable achievement.
Sir, your victory is not just a personal triumph; it is a testament to the confidence and trust that Nigerians have placed in your leadership. It signifies a resounding endorsement of your vision, dedication, and unwavering commitment to the progress and prosperity of our beloved nation.
The journey to this moment has been marked by resilience, hard work, and a deep love for Nigeria and its people. Your years of service to our great nation have been characterized by visionary leadership, bold initiatives, and a steadfast determination to address the challenges facing our society.
As we celebrate this landmark victory, let us not forget the critical role played by our judiciary in upholding the integrity of our electoral processes. The tribunal’s painstaking review of the evidence presented underscores the strength and impartiality of our judicial system, which serves as the pillar of our democracy.
In these times of political divisions, it is essential to remember that nobody is more Nigerian than others, we are all stakeholders in the Nigerian project. President Tinubu’s victory is not a victory for one party or one group of supporters; it is a victory for all Nigerians who believe in the principles of democracy and the rule of law.
As we move forward, it is crucial for us to unite as a nation and work hand in hand with President Tinubu to realize the vision of a more prosperous, united, and peaceful Nigeria. Let us set aside our political differences and embrace the common goal of building a nation where every citizen can thrive and prosper.
President Tinubu’s leadership has the potential to usher in a new era of progress and development for Nigeria. His commitment to inclusive governance, economic growth, and social welfare programs promises a brighter future for all Nigerians. Let us support his administration, hold it accountable, and actively participate in the democratic process to shape the Nigeria we all desire.
President Bola Tinubu’s victory at the Presidential Election Tribunal is a significant milestone in the journey of our great nation. It is a victory for democracy, justice, and the Nigerian people. Let us celebrate this achievement and pledge our unwavering support to the President as he leads us towards a prosperous and united Nigeria.
Once again, congratulations to Mr. President, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Akanbi Omo Olodode. May your tenure be marked by success, unity, and progress for our beloved Nigeria.