Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal Dismisses Labour Party’s Petition
Location: Abuja, Nigeria Tribunal Upholds INEC’s Authority and Discretion in Election Result Transmission. In a landmark decision, the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has upheld the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) authority and discretion to determine the mode of election result transmission for the presidential election held on February 25, 2023. The five-member panel, presided over by Justice Haruna Tsammani, cited Sections 52 and 65 of the Electoral Act 2022, which explicitly grant INEC the freedom to prescribe the method of transmitting election results during the poll.
The Tribunal’s ruling, delivered after a thorough examination of the case, has significant implications for the electoral process in Nigeria, reaffirming INEC’s independence in determining the most suitable and secure means of result transmission. This decision is expected to set a precedent for future elections in the country, emphasizing the importance of adhering to electoral laws and regulations.
The petition at the center of this ruling was filed by the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, who sought to annul the victory of President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The petition alleged the “failure” of INEC’s Results Viewing Portal to electronically upload election results in real-time, citing this as a basis for challenging the election outcome.
However, the Tribunal’s verdict found that INEC had not violated any electoral laws in its handling of the result transmission process. The Tribunal noted that INEC’s discretion to determine the method of transmission was well within the framework of the law, as outlined in the Electoral Act 2022.
President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the 2023 presidential election has now been reaffirmed by the Tribunal, effectively dismissing the Labour Party’s challenge. This decision brings closure to a significant legal battle and underlines the importance of adhering to established electoral processes and regulations.
In response to the ruling, INEC has expressed its commitment to ensuring transparency and fairness in future elections and continuing to exercise its discretion responsibly in accordance with the law.
The Tribunal’s decision is expected to shape the future of election result transmission in Nigeria and reinforces the crucial role of INEC in upholding the integrity of the electoral process.