The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal is expected to pass its verdict on the February 25 presidential election in which Bola Ahmed Tinubu was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) this September.
Goldennewsng understands that there is so much anxiety across the country even as state tribunals are expected to also, in September, pass judgment on the petitions challenging the election of 25 state governors in the last poll.
Recall that governorship elections were held across 28 states on March 18, 2023. However, of the overall results of the polls announced by INEC, elections in 25 states are being contested.
In this regard, the tribunal panels are expected to deliver their judgments this month.
This publication understands that the tribunals sitting in Lagos, Sokoto, Delta, Kano, and 21 other states, as well as Abuja, had reserved their judgments after the parties concluded their hearings and adopted their written addresses in line with the Practice Direction for the election petitions issued by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensen.
Some of the candidates and their political parties, who are apprehensive about the outcome of their petitions, are said to have resorted to prayers, while others issued cautionary words and admonitions to the courts to do what is right.
However, there are expectations that the Tribunal (s) may give their verdicts on the petitions on September 6.
It could be recalled that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, had in November 2022 sworn in 307 justices to handle the 2023 election petitions while an additional 39 justices were inaugurated on May 25, 2023, totalling 346, and they were expected to deliver judgments before September 16.
The PUNCH, in a recent publication, observed that By law, the 346 justices sitting on the panels were mandated to hand down their judgments 180 days after the filing of the petitions by the aggrieved candidates.
The publication quoted Section 285 (6) of the 1999 constitution, which provides that “an election tribunal shall deliver judgment in writing within 180 days from the date of filing of the petition.”