The Supreme Court has reserved judgment in the petition by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, seeking to void the declaration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as winner of the 2023 presidential election.
Justice Inyang Okoro presided over the Supreme Court’s seven-man panel in the hearing applications filed against the election of President Bola Tinubu.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria(CJN) Olukayode Ariwoola, who swore in Tinubu as president of Nigeria, is not part of the panel. The reason for Ariwoola’s absence not made clear.
With Okoro as the presiding justice, the remaining brother justices were either seen as his colleagues or junior in ranking at the Supreme Court bench.
Justice John Inyang Okoro, who led a 7-man panel of Justices of the Court in Monday’s proceedings, announced reservation of the final judgment after taking arguments from lawyers in the matter.
Justice Okoro said parties in the matter would be communicated as soon as the judgment date is fixed.
Meanwhile, Atiku Abubakar on Monday at the Supreme Court insisted that President Bola Tinubu must be disqualified from the 2023 presidential election.
Atiku maintained that Tinubu was not constitutionally qualified to stand for the election at the time he did.
The former Vice President through his lead counsel, Chris Uche SAN, asked the apex court to invoke the provisions of the Constitution to annul Tinubu’s in the election.
He predicted his request for Tinubu’s disqualification on alleged certificate forgery and lying on oath.
In the absence of outright disqualification, Atiku pleaded with the Justice John Inyang Okoro-led panel to order a rerun between him and Tinubu.
However, Tinubu through his lead counsel, Wole Olanipekun SAN, asked the court to dismiss Atiku’s claims of certificate forgery and lying on oath.
The senior lawyer insisted that Atiku’s allegations are unsubstantiated and cannot enjoy any probate value until proven beyond reasonable doubt as required by law.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, represented by Abubakar Mahmoud SAN, also canvassed that Atiku’s petition be thrown out for want of merit.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, led by Chief Akin Olujinmi SAN, adopted the position of Olanipekun in calling for dismissal of the petition.
Justice Inyang Okoro is presiding over the Supreme Court’s seven-man panel currently hearing applications filed against the election of President Bola Tinubu.