The Nigerian Supreme Court has commenced hearings on the opposition’s challenge to the February 2023 presidential election results. The election was won by Bola Tinubu, but his primary opponents, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, are seeking to have the Election Petition Court’s ruling, which upheld Mr. Tinubu’s victory, overturned.
This legal challenge has the potential to escalate tensions and perpetuate the political polarization in the country. It is anticipated that the seven judges on the Supreme Court panel will take several weeks to reach a decision on the matter.
In the event that they uphold the lower court’s decision, this would align with the historical pattern in Nigeria, where presidential election results have never been overturned.
However, Mr. Abubakar intends to present new evidence to the court, particularly concerning the dispute over whether the president submitted a counterfeit educational certificate to the electoral commission as proof of his eligibility.
On the contrary, Mr. Tinubu is opposing the introduction of new evidence, urging the court not to grant his opponents’ request for fresh and additional evidence to support this new claim.
The Election Petition Court had previously ruled that both opposition candidates failed to substantiate their argument that the election was marred by over-voting and voter suppression.