Ahead of the delivery of the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja on Wednesday, the military and the police have said they will not condone any unlawful action by troublemakers.
The Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Tukur Gusau, warned those who might be planning to cause violence on that day to discard the idea.
The tribunal, in a statement on Monday, announced it would on Wednesday deliver judgment on the petitions challenging the declaration of Bola Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The Chairman of the INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, had on March 1 declared Tinubu the president-elect because his party scored the majority of votes cast in the poll.
The tribunal justices who will deliver the verdict on Wednesday are the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Haruna Tsammani; Justice Stephen Adah of the Court of Appeal (Asaba Division), Justice Monsurat Bolaji-Yusuf, Court of Appeal (Asaba Division), Justices Moses Ugo (Court of Appeal, Kano) and Abba Mohammed of the Ibadan Division of the Court of Appeal.
In the 2023 poll, the former Lagos State governor polled 8.8 million to defeat the Peoples Democratic Party standard bearer, Atiku Abubakar, who scored 6.9 million, Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, who polled 6.1 million votes, and 15 other candidates.
However, five of the 18 political parties that participated in the elections turned to the court to contest the declaration by the electoral body.
Leading the charge against Tinubu’s electoral triumph are Atiku and Obi who have asked the tribunal to nullify the ex-Lagos governor’s victory in the February 25 presidential election.
Besides the PDP and the LP, other aggrieved parties included the Action Alliance, Action People’s Party, and the Allied Peoples Movement.
In the course of the tribunal proceedings, the five-member panel headed by Justice Tsammani dismissed the petitions of the AA and the APP.
The dismissal was a sequel to a formal withdrawal of the petitions by the parties.
Atiku in his 66-page petition urged the court to cancel the election and order a fresh poll due to alleged irregularities that marred the exercise in thousands of polling units.
The ex-vice president in his joint petition with the PDP marked: CA/PEPC/05/2023, applied for the withdrawal of the certificate of return that was issued to Tinubu by INEC.
He maintained that the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the presidential election was “invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.”
Atiku further argued that Tinubu’s election was invalid because of corrupt practices and prayed the court to nullify his election and declare him the winner of the presidential election, having secured the second-highest number of lawful votes cast in the election.
He insisted that the APC candidate did not meet the constitutional threshold and “is constitutionally disabled from contesting for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
However, in a reply he filed through his team of lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Tinubu questioned the legal competence of the petition.
He described Atiku as a consistent serial loser who had since 1993 crisscrossed different political parties in search of power.
Obi in his petition argued that the election was flawed by irregularities, citing also the alleged non-qualification of Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, to contest the election.
He also alleged that Tinubu failed to win a majority of lawful votes and also one-quarter of lawful votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory.
He alleged that the election was conducted in substantial non-compliance with the provision of the law.
On August 1, the panel reserved judgment after the PDP, the LP, and the APM had adopted their final written addresses.