Nigeria's main opposition candidates said Thursday that they will head to the Supreme Court to challenge President Bola Tinubu's victory, after their initial challenge was dismissed by a tribunal on Wednesday.
Atiku Abubakar of the People's Democratic Party and Labour Party's Peter Obi, who came second and third respectively, had asked the court to cancel the election, alleging everything from vote fraud to failure by the electoral agency to post results electronically. They wanted Tinubu to be disqualified.
"Our clients are dissatisfied with the judgement just delivered and we have the firm instruction of our client to challenge the judgement on appeal. The court has promised us that possibly by tomorrow, we are going to get a copy of the judgement, also to have us to swing into action," said Livy Uzoukwu, lead counsel to Peter Obi of the Labour Party.
In a verdict read over several hours, Judges rejected all claims made by Labour Party candidate Obi, including fraud. No legal challenge to the outcome of a presidential election has succeeded in Nigeria, which returned to democracy in 1999 after three decades of almost uninterrupted military rule.
"There are certain things, certain principles of law that we know that we need to explore, and we strongly believe that when we get to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court will have the opportunity to review a number of things that have been said here today. So, we have the instructions of our client as soon as possible to go to the Supreme Court," said Chris Uche, lead lawyer to the PDP’s Atiku Abubakar.
In a nation of more than 200 million people, of whom 87 million were registered to vote, Tinubu garnered just 8.79 million votes, the fewest of any president since the return to democracy.