The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) has announced that it will deliver its final ruling on the petitions challenging the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the 2023 presidential election on Wednesday, September 6. This was confirmed by the Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Umar Bangari, in a statement released on Monday and circulated to journalists in Abuja.
The tribunal, headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani, will decide on three petitions filed by different parties against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and others. The petitioners are Peter Obi of the Labour Party, the Allied Peoples Movement, and Abubakar Atiku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). They are seeking to nullify Tinubu’s election on various grounds, such as irregularities, violence, and non-compliance with the electoral laws.
The tribunal’s decision will be based on the evidence and arguments presented by the parties during the trial. The five justices of the tribunal will deliberate and possibly vote to reach a consensus, or a majority verdict, in case of any dissenting opinions. However, the tribunal’s verdict will not be final, as any aggrieved party can still appeal to the Supreme Court.
The tribunal comprises five experienced and respected justices of the Court of Appeal. They are:
- Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani (Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal): He is the longest-serving justice of the Court of Appeal among the panel members. He has delivered landmark judgements on various electoral matters, such as affirming Governor Yahaya Bello’s second term election in Kogi State and restraining Rivers and Lagos states from collecting Value Added Tax (VAT).
- Justice Stephen Adah (Court of Appeal, Asaba Division): He is the presiding justice of the Asaba Division of the Court of Appeal. He has also handled several electoral cases, such as granting Obi and Atiku’s motions to serve Tinubu their petitions by substituted means and upholding the conviction of former Plateau State governor, Joshua Dariye.
- Justice Mistura Bolaji-Yusuf (Court of Appeal, Asaba Division): She is the only female justice on the panel. She obtained her law degree from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 1983 and joined the Court of Appeal in 2014.
- Justice Boloukuoromo Ugo (Court of Appeal, Kano Division): She is the youngest among the judges on the panel of the Presidential Election Petition Court. He obtained his LL.B degree from the University of Calabar in 1989, before proceeding to the Nigerian Law School in Lagos the following year, for his BL certificate. He was appointed a Judge of the High Court of Bayelsa State on March 21, 2006, and later elevated to the Court of Appeal on March 24, 201
- Justice Abba Mohammed (Court of Appeal, Ibadan Division): He obtained his LL.B degree from the Institute of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 1984, before proceeding to the Nigerian Law School in Lagos the following year, for his BL Certificate in 1985. Justice Mohammed was appointed a judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in 2010. After serving for about ten years, he was promoted to the Court of Appeal on June 28, 2021. He was the Chairman of the Nasarawa State Governorship Election Tribunal in 2019.