Nigeria’s leading opposition candidate in this year’s presidential election has appealed a ruling confirming President Bola Tinubu’s victory and asked the country’s Supreme Court to declare him the winner.
ByCHINEDU ASADU Associated Press
September 19, 2023, 12:39 p.m.
ABUJA, Nigeria — Nigeria’s leading opposition candidate in this year’s presidential election has appealed a ruling confirming President Bola Tinubu’s victory and asked the country’s Supreme Court to declare him the winner, according to documents seen Tuesday by the Associated Press.
In filings, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party, which came second in the election, said the appeal court that dismissed challenges to Tinubu’s election victory this month “erred in law” by not supporting allegations of illegality.
The call is the first of three expected calls from opposing candidates contesting the election of Tinubu, who is participating in this year’s United Nations General Assembly as president for the first time. Observers said that while the conduct of the election was an improvement over previous ones, delays in uploading and announcing results could have led to ballot tampering.
Abubakar said Nigeria’s electoral commission did not follow due process in announcing the winner and that Tinubu was not qualified to run for president, citing allegations of dual nationality and criminal charges in the United States, which which the Nigerian leader denied.
His 42-page notice of appeal urged the Supreme Court to rule that declaring Tinubu the winner of the presidential election is “unlawful, unwarranted, unconstitutional, void and of no effect whatsoever… having failed to satisfy the requirements (legal)” to win. The court should either declare him the winner or order the electoral commission to hold a new vote, Abubakar demanded.
The date for hearing the appeal has not yet been announced.
No presidential election in Nigeria since the return to democracy in 1999 has been annulled.
Analysts said this year’s elections were different given the adoption of the recently amended electoral law which introduced the use of technology to make the process more transparent.