Tension continues in Nigeria: six states challenged the results of the presidential elections in the Supreme Court

File photo: A group of people discuss the results of the elections in Awka, Nigeria (REUTERS / Temilade Adelaja) (TEMILADE ADELAJA /)

Six Nigerian states ruled by the main opposition force, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP)challenged before the courts the electoral victory of the pro-government candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the presidential elections on February 25, judicial sources confirmed to the news agency EFE this Friday.

The attorneys general of Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Sokoto states filed a lawsuit before the Supreme Court, the highest judicial instance in the countrylast Tuesday, February 28, told EFE a legal source close to the case who wanted to remain anonymous.

“The lawsuit was filed alleging that the recount of the results of the presidential elections of the 36 states and Abuja (the capital) was not carried out in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Electoral Law,” said the aforementioned source.

According to fragments published by local media of the lawsuit filed against the Nigerian federal government, which appoints the president of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the states want the results to be declared “invalid and null and void”, something that would happen for the first time in Nigeria if the court were to agree with them.

The plaintiffs consider that the declaration of Tinubu as the winner by the INEC did not comply with the law, after the electronic transmission of the results of the polling stations could not be carried out completely, something that the electoral body attributed to “technical failures”.

A woman walks past the election posters of the APC party candidates in Lagos (REUTERS/James Oatway)
A woman walks past the election posters of the APC party candidates in Lagos (REUTERS/James Oatway) (JAMES OATWAY/)

It was the first time that Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa (more than 213 million inhabitants), used this technology in general elections, adopted to prevent possible irregularities.

Tinubu, 70 years old and candidate of the ruling Congress of All Progressives (APC), was declared the winner last Wednesday with 36% of the votes (8.79 million votes), according to INEC figures.

Atiku Abubakar, 76, a PDP candidate, came in second with 29% of the vote (6.98 million), while third place was occupied by Peter Obi, 61 years old and a candidate for the Labor Party (LP), who garnered 25% of the votes (6.1 million).

The INEC announced the results after both opposition parties had already asked to cancel and repeat the elections by accusing fraud to the electoral body.

Both Obi and Abubakar said Thursday that they will appeal the results to the courts, although they did not provide further details.

Tinubu will succeed the outgoing president, Muhammadu Buhari, in power since 2015, who did not seek re-election after exhausting the second consecutive four-year term allowed by the Constitution.

Ball Ahmed Tinubu (REUTERS/James Oatway)
Ball Ahmed Tinubu (REUTERS/James Oatway) (JAMES OATWAY/)

The president-elect, who ruled the influential southern state of Lagos from 1999 to 2007, inherits a nation plagued by growing insecurity in some parts of the country, with constant attacks by criminal gangs kidnapping civilians for lucrative ransom, jihadist groups and independence rebels.

It will also need to tackle the devaluation of the local currency (naira), runaway inflation and high unemployment, despite Nigeria stands out as Africa’s leading oil producer and the continent’s largest economy.

(With information from EFE)

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