THE die is cast and the stage is set and after five months of legal fisticuffs, the Presidential Election Petition Court (Tribunal) PEPT will decide the fate of President Bola Tinubu, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and former Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, today.
The trio were the leading presidential candidates in the February 25, 2023 presidential poll. While Tinubu, who was declared winner by the Independent National Commission, INEC ran on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC; Atiku contested on the banner of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; and Obi flew the flag of the Labour Party, LP.
Atiku, Obi, PDP and LP separately want the court to nullify Tinubu’s election, award the victory to Atiku or Atiku, and disqualify Tinubu in the event of ordering a re-run
There is also a third petition lodged against President Tinubu by the Allied Peoples Movement, APM.
Specifically, APM contended that the withdrawal of Mr. Masari, who was initially nominated as the Vice-Presidential candidate of the APC, invalidated Tinubu’s candidacy in view of Section 131(c) and 142 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Countering the petitioners, Tinubu, APC, and INEC urged the court to dismiss the petitions of the petitioners and affirm Tinubu’s election.
Seven options before the court
As it is, there are seven options before the PEPT over the case against Tinubu, namely:
•Affirm Tinubu’s election on the ground that infractions observed during the polls were not enough to invalidate the outcome
•Disqualify Tinubu, nullify his election and declare Atiku as winner
•Annul Tinubu’s election and declare Obi as winner as the only one that polled 25% in FCT
•Cancel the elections and order a fresh poll among the 18 candidates
•Cancel the elections and order a re-run between the best two
•Order a re-run between Tinubu and Atiku
•Order a re-run between Atiku and Obi