Today, Wednesday, September 6, 2023, the presidential election petition tribunal will announce its highly-anticipated judgement on the result of the February 25 presidential election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the election, but his opponents filed petitions before the tribunal to overturn the result.
Ahead of today’s ruling, here are the most important things to remember.
Even though five political parties initially filed petitions against the result back in March, only three of them are still standing and expecting verdicts today.
Second-placed Atiku Abubakar and his People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and third-placed Peter Obi and his Labour Party (LP) are the two prominent petitioners.
Despite finishing 13th at the polls, the Allied People’s Movement (APM) is also expecting the tribunal to rule on its case. The party asked the court to invalidate the result of the election on account of Tinubu’s illegitimacy and award victory to Atiku.
When hearings of the cases started months ago, the tribunal rejected motions from Atiku and Obi to livestream the proceedings to millions of Nigerians, but this will not apply for today’s judgement.
In a bid to promote transparency, according to the Court of Appeal, the judgement will be broadcasted live by interested television stations. This means Nigerians everywhere across the country can follow the proceedings live.
The three cases will be decided by five judges presiding over them. All five judges don’t have to agree on the same ruling, but the decision agreed by three of them will be the majority ruling that will stand.
The judges presiding over cases today are Haruna Tsammani, Stephen Adah, Misturat Bolaji-Yusuf, Boloukuoromo Moses Ugo, and Abba-Bello Mohammed.
Today’s ruling is not final
Millions of Nigerians are eagerly anticipating the tribunal’s decision, but the court is not the final bus stop for presidential election petitions.
Regardless of who wins or loses today, the tribunal’s decision will almost certainly be challenged at the Supreme Court which is the final decision-making court.
The loser(s) of today’s verdict can file the appeal before the Supreme Court within 14 days. Any appeal submitted outside this window is null and void.