September 6 marks 100 days since Bola Ahmed Tinubu succeeded Mohammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s fifth president since the return to democratic rule in 1999.
Today, a Nigerian election tribunal will also be deciding whether Tinubu stays in office or not.
The country’s two main opposition leaders, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, had filed a petition challenging the results of the February presidential polls, where Tinubu won with 37 percent of the votes.
The appeal court of Nigeria had announced that the verdict of the petitions would be pronounced today, September 6. The Chief Registrar, Umar M. Bangari, said the ruling would be streamed live on television.
“The Court of Appeal wishes to inform the general public that judgement in the following petitions before the Elections Petition Court will be delivered on Wednesday, September 6, 2023,” a release from the court read citing the cases brought by Peter Obi of the Labour Party, and Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) against the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, and others.
Both candidates, in separate court hearings that lasted several months, urged the court to disqualify Tinubu’s mandate on grounds of electoral malpractices during the presidential polls that favoured the former Governor of Lagos.
“In a bid to promote transparency and openness, these judgements will be televised live by interested television stations for the public to follow,” the court said, adding that “access to the court premises will be strictly on accreditation to individuals, counsels, and representatives of political parties”.
Tensions are high as on Wednesday morning, Nigerian media reported that security had been deployed to the court premises where the tribunal verdict would be declared.
The Nigerian presidential elections were marred by reports of voter intimidation and a lack of transparency in many of the country’s 36 states.
“Shortcomings in law and electoral administration hindered the conduct of well-run and inclusive elections and damaged trust in INEC,” said the European Union elections monitoring mission report.
“A lack of transparency and operational failures reduced trust in the process and challenged the right to vote.”
Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission denied all reports of misconduct during the elections and termed the EU mission report unfair.