After a five-month legal battle, the Presidential Election Petition Court (Tribunal) is set to deliver its verdict today, determining the future of President Bola Tinubu, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and former Anambra State Governor Peter Obi.
The three prominent candidates were at the forefront of the presidential race on February 25, 2023, with Tinubu representing the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku vying for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Obi running under the Labour Party (LP).
Atiku, (PDP), and Obi (LP )have each presented their case before the court, seeking to invalidate Tinubu’s election and, in various scenarios, either declare Atiku as the winner or call for a rerun election.
Also, the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) filed a separate petition, contending that the withdrawal of Masari as the initial APC Vice-Presidential candidate rendered Tinubu’s candidacy invalid under constitutional provisions.
In response to these petitions, Tinubu, APC, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have urged the court to dismiss the challenges and uphold Tinubu’s election.
However, the fate of these candidates now rests in the hands of five justices on the Presidential Election Petition Court panel:
Justice Haruna Tsammani:
Born on November 23, 1959, Justice Tsammani has had a long and distinguished career in the judiciary, beginning as a High Court judge in Bauchi State in 1998. He was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 2010 and is the longest-serving justice on the panel. His notable judgments include affirming the second term election of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and ruling on issues related to Value Added Tax (VAT) collection.
Justice Stephen Adah:
Born on June 13, 1957, Justice Adah hails from Kogi State and presides over the Asaba Division of the Court of Appeal. He has a strong legal background, having been appointed a Federal High Court judge in 1998 before his elevation to the Court of Appeal in 2012. Justice Adah was part of a three-man panel that granted Obi and Atiku’s motions to serve Tinubu their petitions through substituted means.
Justice Monsurat Bolaji-Yusuf:
The only female member of the panel, Justice Bolaji-Yusuf was born on August 7, 1959, in Oyo State. She was a High Court judge in Oyo State before being elevated to the Court of Appeal in 2014. Her notable decisions include invalidating actions related to the impeachment of former Governor Rashidi Ladoja in Oyo State and affirming Ifeanyi Ubah as a Senator.
Justice Moses Ugo:
Justice Ugo, born in 1966, is the youngest member of the panel and hails from Bayelsa State. He served as a High Court judge in Bayelsa State before being promoted to the Court of Appeal in 2011.
Justice Abba Mohammed:
Born on February 19, 1961, Justice Abba Mohammed is from Kano State. He was appointed a judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in 2010 and was promoted to the Court of Appeal in 2021. His notable cases include chairing the Nasarawa State Governorship Election Tribunal in 2019.