After the 2023 presidential election, the fight will take place in court, where Bola Tinubu's opponents, Mr.
Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Mr. Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, will try to have Bola Tinubu's victory declared invalid.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, announced that Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, had won the election on February 25.
Results announced by INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu show that Tinubu won with 8,794,726 votes, defeating Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, who received 6,984,520 and 6,101,533 votes, respectively.
The combined votes of all other political parties came to 666.298, while Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, or NNPP, received 1,496.887 votes.
Additionally, according to the Electoral Act of 2022, as amended, Tinubu received the required 25% of the votes from 24 states.
However, the LP and the PDP have been crying foul, insisting that each of them won the election.
The ruling party has also had issues with both the LP and the PDP.
Major legal fireworks resumed at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday, with the court issuing different rulings.
Obi of the LP had sought an order stopping the INEC from reconfiguring the BVAS used for the election. The party hopes to rely on the BVAS to prove its case before the court. But the INEC countered the application, insisting that it would affect the governorship and the state house of assembly elections.
But in its ruling, the court held that the INEC should go on and reconfigure the BVAS. It hinged its ruling on the averment of the INEC that the action would not affect the data on the BVAS, which it said was already on its central server.
Sam Hart, the Senior Special Assistant on Public Communication to the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, summarized the ruling thus:
“Win-win for both INEC and LP. Both requests were granted.
“INEC assures the Court that BVAS reconfiguration will not wipe data as they are saved in the server back end.
“Judgment: LP – Inspect records;
“INEC—Reconfigure BVAS for March 11.”
Speaking to the Daily Post about the chances of the LP candidate reclaiming his alleged stolen mandate in court, the Head of the People's Democratic Party, PDP, Digital Media Barr, Tony Ehilebo, said the LP and its candidate will have to provide enough evidence that they won the election, especially the 25 percent requirement needed from 24 states and the FCT.
“Well, when a man comes out and declares war openly, you don’t know what he has in his arsenal. Even the person he is coming to fight does not know what he has in his arsenal. All you have to do is watch. "We'll wait and see,” he said.
“When you say you won the election, what are the states you said you won the required 25% of?" In any case, I still think it was a very good run for him in such a short time.
“I think the case is more in favor of substantial compliance by INEC.
“Did INEC comply with its guidelines, which it severally stated would be the guidelines for the election? The fact that you are an umpire does not mean you’re above the law. "Even the Supreme Court, as mighty as it is, is bound by its laws,” he added.
The President-elect, Tinubu, was also given permission by the court on Wednesday to have direct access to the Independent National Electoral Commission's (INEC) server in order to examine all of the materials used for the presidential election.
The court ordered the electoral body to allow the president-elect to make photocopies of the documents during the inspection after ruling on an ex-parte application by Tinubu.
The judge who made the decision, Justice Joseph Ikwegh, stated that he was satisfied that Tinubu had a legitimate request to access, examine, and make copies of any documents needed for his particular purpose.
According to Justice Ikwegh, the president-elect has the right to make photocopies for his own use in defending his election against any petitions and access to the INEC server.