As anticipation builds, President Bola Tinubu and 25 state governors are awaiting the verdicts of tribunals handling election petitions related to presidential, governorship, National Assembly, and state assembly elections. These tribunals are expected to deliver their judgments this month.
Out of the 28 states where governorship elections were held, results in contests announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are being contested in no fewer than 25 states.
Most of these tribunals, sitting in various states including Lagos, Sokoto, Delta, Kano, and 21 others, as well as Abuja, have reserved their judgments following the completion of hearings and the adoption of written arguments by the parties, in accordance with the Practice Direction for election petitions issued by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensen.
Amidst the anticipation, political parties and their candidates are expressing their concerns and hopes regarding the outcome of their petitions. Some are resorting to prayers, while others are issuing cautionary words and admonitions to the justices, urging them to uphold justice.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, had appointed 346 justices to handle the 2023 election petitions, with a mandate to deliver judgments within 180 days from the filing of the petitions, as specified by Section 285 (6) of the 1999 constitution.
Among the high-profile cases, the presidential election petition tribunal, which involves the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, Peter Obi, and the Labour Party, has been closely watched. Both sides have expressed their expectations and hopes for a fair and just outcome.
As the judgment dates approach, there is a mix of tension, anticipation, and hope among the various parties involved in these election petitions. The decisions made by the tribunals will have significant implications for the political landscape in Nigeria.