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Presidential Election: Court Dismisses AA’s Suit Against Tinubu




•Orders APP, LP to harmonise processes with INEC, APC 

•Hears APM, PDP today

•Atiku, PDP make case for live broadcast of proceedings

The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), at its inaugural sitting, yesterday, dismissed the petition of the Action Alliance (AA) challenging the declaration of Bola Tinubu as winner of the February 25 presidential election.

The dismissal was sequel to a formal withdrawal of the petition by the petitioners.

AA and its presidential candidate, Mr Solomon Okagbuan, were among the five participants seeking cancellation of the recent presidential election.

Other petitioners were Action People’s Party (APP) with petition number: CA/PEPC/02/2023; Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, with suit number: CA/PEPC/03/2023; Allied People’s Movement (APM) and its presidential candidate, Princess ChiChi Ojei, with suit marked: CA/PEPC/04/2023; and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, with suit number: CA/ PEPC/05/203.

Except for AA, the other petitioners challenged the election, which produced Tinubu as president-elect on grounds that included substantial non-compliance with the electoral laws, corrupt practices, as well as non-qualification of Tinubu and his party to contest the February 25 presidential poll.

In the AA’s petition marked CA/PEPC/01/2023, the petitioners had prayed the court to cancel the presidential election on the grounds that its candidate’s name (Solomon Okagbuan) was excluded from INEC’s list of presidential candidates.

While Okagbuan and AA were the petitioners, the defendants were the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC, Tinubu, and Hamza Al-Mustapha (a factional presidential candidate of the AA).

Until a few days to the presidential election, when the Supreme Court held otherwise, INEC had recognised Al-Mustapha as the candidate of AA, thereby necessitating the petition by Okagbuan.

While Okagbuan was sponsored by the faction led by Chief Adekunle Omoaje, Al Mustapha was sponsored by the faction led by Mr Kenneth Udeze.

The petition of the Omoaje faction was filed by their lawyer, Chief Oba Maduabuchi, SAN, in March, while a Notice of Withdrawal was filed on May 3.

When the matter was called up for hearing, Maduabuchi announced appearance for AA but before other parties could announce their presence, a lawyer, Mr Maliki Nwaekpe, stood up to announce appearance for the same AA.

Nwaekpe had announced himself as an applicant seeking the withdrawal of AA’s petition to the surprise of Maduabuchi and others present in court.

Reacting, Maduabuchi told the court he was the one who filed the petition and described Nwaekpe as a stranger not known by the AA. He added that the faction Nwaekpe claimed to be representing had been declared unlawful members of the AA by the Court of Appeal in two separate judgements.

But Nwaekpe insisted that AA never instructed anyone or consented to the filing of the petition in the first place, hence the application for withdrawal.

While the court was trying to sort out the issue of who was the rightful representative of AA in the matter, Maduabuchi informed the court that he was the one who filed and had also applied to withdraw the petition.

Responding, Justice Haruna Tsammani, who led four other justices, held that since both lawyers were asking for the same thing, the appearance of Nwaekpe should be discountenanced and ordered Maduabuchi to move the Notice of Withdrawal dated May 3.

Maduabuchi, in praying the court for an order of withdrawal, also urged for the dismissal of same.

INEC, represented by Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN; Tinubu represented by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN; APC represented by Lateef Fagbemi, SAN; and Mohammed Sanni, who represented Al-Mustapha, all did not object to the withdrawal of the petition.

In a short ruling, Tsammani held, “In the absence of any objection to the withdrawal of the petition, the application is hereby granted. The petition with suit number CA/PEPC/01/2023 is hereby dismissed.”

Earlier, at an inaugural sitting, the five-member panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, upon convening announced the modalities of the proceedings.

In a welcome address, Tsammani informed the court that there were five petitions before them, which included that of AA, APP, LP, APM, and PDP.

He, however, stated that for convenience, the court would take the first three petitions on Monday, and adjourned to Wednesday, while the fourth and fifth petitions, which involved APM and PD, would be taken Tuesday and then adjourned to Thursday.

While soliciting the understanding and cooperation of the bar, the presiding justice assured them that the bench would be fair to all. He added that the bench was not unmindful of the importance of the cases before it.

Tsammani urged the bar to avoid time wasting through unnecessary objections, adding that as lawyers they should avoid making inflammatory statements owing to the importance of the cases before the court.

Responding, lawyers representing parties assured the court of their willingness and preparedness to make the job of the panel less cumbersome.

Olanipekun, who spoke first, assured the court that the lawyers were ready to cooperate with it to ensure justice was delivered at the end of the day.

Chief Chris Uche, SAN, also said the bar would do everything to ensure speedy disposal of the cases owing to the enormous responsibility upon their shoulders.

In the same vein, Dr Levi Ozoukwu, SAN, counsel to LP and Obi, stated that the bar was mindful of the public interest being generated by the case, which outcome he said would greatly impact Nigeria’s jurisprudence as well as the constitution. “We will do whatever is possible to assist the court do justice in the matters,” he said.

Similarly, INEC, represented by Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, noted that the bar recognised the importance of the matter and “we pledge total support so that justice would be done at the end of the day”.

After all parties had identified their individual processes in both the APC and LP petitions, Tsammani ordered that counsel meet to resolve all grey areas in their processes before the next adjourned date.

The justice, in addition, enjoined parties to endeavour to agree on applications that should be taken by the court as well as the issues for determination.

While the petition of the APP was adjourned to Wednesday 9am, that of LP was fixed for 2pm same day, for continuation of pre-hearing.

Meanwhile, the panel will today entertain the petitions of APM and PDP. Parties at the proceedings were expected to identify their various processes and subsequently harmonise for easy and speedy dispensation of justice.

Atiku and PDP were expected, at Tuesday’s sitting, to draw the attention of the panel to a fresh application they filed, seeking the court’s permission for television stations to carry live broadcast of the day to day proceedings of their petition.

Atiku and PDP, in the application dated May 5, and filed May 8, prayed the tribunal for, “An order directing the court’s registry and the parties on modalities for admission of media practitioners and their equipment into the courtroom.”

The application filed on their behalf by a team of lawyers led by Uche, was predicated, among other grounds, the fact that, “The matter before the Honourable Court is a dispute over the outcome of the presidential election held on 25th February 2023, a matter of national concern and public interest, involving citizens and voters in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, who voted and participated in the said election; and the international community as regards the workings of Nigeria’s electoral process.”

They contended that being a unique electoral dispute with a peculiar constitutional dimension, it was a matter of public interest whereof millions of Nigerian citizens and voters were stakeholders with a constitutional right to receive.

Atiku and PDP said, “An integral part of the constitutional duty of the court to hold proceedings in public is a discretion to allow public access to proceedings either physically or by electronic means. 

“With the huge and tremendous technological advances and developments in Nigeria and beyond, including the current trend by this Honourable Court towards embracing electronic procedures, virtual hearing and electronic filing, a departure from the rules to allow a regulated televising of the proceedings in this matter is in consonance with the maxim that justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done.

“Televising court proceedings is not alien to this Honourable Court, and will enhance public confidence.”

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My Fellow Citizens,

I stand before you honoured to assume the sacred mandate you have given me. My love for this nation is abiding. My confidence in its people, unwavering. And my faith in God Almighty, absolute. I know that His hand shall provide the needed moral strength and clarity of purpose in those instances when we seem to have reached the limits of our human capacity.

This day is bold and majestic yet bright and full of spirit, as is our precious nation.

As a nation, we have long ago decided to march beyond the dimness of night into the open day of renewed national hope.

The question we now ask ourselves is whether to remain faithful to the work inherent in building a better society or retreat into the shadows of our unmet potential. 

For me, there is but one answer. We are too great a nation and too grounded as a people to rob ourselves of our finest destiny.

This nation’s journey has been shaped by the prayers of millions, and the collective sacrifices of us all.

Tinubu Speech
Tinubu at Eagles Square for during his Inauguaration

We have endured hardships that would have made other societies crumble.

Yet, we have shouldered the heavy burden to arrive at this SUBLIME moment where the prospect of a better future merges with our improved capacity to create that future.

To the surprise of many but not to ourselves, we have more firmly established this land as a democracy in both word and deed.

The peaceful transition from one government to another is now our political tradition. This handover symbolizes our trust in God, our enduring faith in representative governance and our belief in our ability to reshape this nation into the society it was always meant to be.

Here, permit me to say a few words to my predecessor, President Muhammadu Buhari. Mr President, you have been an honest, patriotic leader who has done his best for the nation you love. On a more personal note, you are a worthy partner and friend. May History be kind to you.

For many years, Nigeria’s critics have trafficked the rumour that our nation will break apart, even perish.

Yet here we are. We have stumbled at times, but our resilience and diversity have kept us going. 

Our burdens may make us bend at times, but they shall never break us.

Instead, we stand forth as Africa’s most populous nation and as the best hope and strongest champion of the Black Race.

As citizens, we declare as one unified people devoted to one unified national cause, that as long as this world exists, NIGERIA SHALL EXIST.

Today, Fate and Destiny join together to place the torch of human progress in our very hands. We dare not let it slip.

We lift high this torch so that it might shine on every household and in every heart that calls itself Nigerian. We hold this beam aloft because it lights our path with compassion, brotherhood, and peace. May this great light never EXTINGUISH.    

Our administration shall govern on your behalf but never rule over you. We shall consult and dialogue but never dictate. We shall reach out to all but never put down a single person for holding views contrary to our own.

We are here to further mend and heal this nation, not tear and injure it.

In this vein, may I offer a few comments regarding the election that brought us to this juncture. It was a hard fought contest. And it was also fairly won. Since the advent of the Fourth Republic, Nigeria has not held an election of better quality.

The outcome reflected the will of the people. However, my victory does not render me any more Nigerian than my opponents. Nor does it render them any less patriotic.

They shall forever be my fellow compatriots. And I will treat them as such. They represent important constituencies and concerns that wisdom dare not ignore.

They have taken their concerns to court. Seeking legal redress is their right and I fully defend their exercise of this right. This is the essence of the rule of law.

Over six decades ago, our founding fathers gave bravely of themselves to place Nigeria on the map as an independent nation.

We must never allow the labor of those who came before us to wither in vain but to blossom and bring forth a better reality.

Let us take the next great step in the journey they began and believed in.

Today, let us recommit our very selves to placing Nigeria in our hearts as the indispensable home for each and every one of us regardless of creed, ethnicity, or place of birth.

My supporters, I thank you. To those who voted otherwise, I extend my hand across the political divide. I ask you to grasp it in national affinity and brotherhood. For me, political coloration has faded away. All I see are Nigerians. 

May we uphold these fitting and excellent notions as the new Nigerian ideal. 

My fellow compatriots,

The Nigerian ideal which I speak of is more than just an improvement in economic and other statistics. These things are important; but they can never convey the fullness of our story.

Our mission is to improve our way of life in a manner that nurtures our humanity, encourages compassion toward one another, and duly rewards our collective effort to resolve the social ills that seek to divide us.

Our constitution and laws give us a nation on paper. We must work harder at bringing these noble documents to life by strengthening the bonds of economic collaboration, social cohesion, and cultural understanding. Let us develop a shared sense of fairness and equity.

The South must not only seek good for itself but must understand that its interests are served when good comes to the North. The North must see the South likewise.

Whether from the winding creeks of the Niger Delta, the vastness of the northern savannah, the boardrooms of Lagos, the bustling capital of Abuja, or the busy markets of Onitsha, you are all my people. As your president, I shall serve with prejudice toward none but compassion and amity towards all. 

In the coming days and weeks, my team will publicly detail key aspects of our programme. Today, permit me to outline in broad terms a few initiatives that define our concept of progressive good governance in furtherance of the Nigerian ideal:

The principles that will guide our administration are simple: 

1. Nigeria will be impartially governed according to the constitution and the rule of law.

2. We shall defend the nation from terror and all forms of criminality that threaten the peace and stability of our country and our subregion.

3. We shall remodel our economy to bring about growth and development through job creation, food security and an end of extreme poverty.

4. In our administration, Women and youth will feature prominently.

5. Our government will continue to take proactive steps such as championing a credit culture to discourage corruption while strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of the various anti-corruption agencies.


Security shall be the top priority of our administration because neither prosperity nor justice can prevail amidst insecurity and violence.

To effectively tackle this menace, we shall reform both our security DOCTRINE and its ARCHITECTURE.

We shall invest more in our security personnel, and this means more than an increase in number. We shall provide, better training, equipment, pay and firepower.


On the economy, we target a higher GDP growth and to significantly reduce unemployment. 

We intend to accomplish this by taking the following steps:

First, budgetary reform stimulating the economy without engendering inflation will be instituted.

Second, industrial policy will utilize the full range of fiscal measures to promote domestic manufacturing and lessen import dependency.

Third, electricity will become more accessible and affordable to businesses and homes alike. Power generation should nearly double and transmission and distribution networks improved. We will encourage states to develop local sources as well.

I have a message for our investors, local and foreign: our government shall review all their complaints about multiple taxation and various anti-investment inhibitions.

We shall ensure that investors and foreign businesses repatriate their hard earned dividends and profits home.


My administration must create meaningful opportunities for our youth. We shall honour our campaign commitment of one million new jobs in the digital economy. 

Our government also shall work with the National Assembly to fashion an omnibus Jobs and Prosperity bill. This bill will give our administration the policy space to embark on labour-intensive infrastructural improvements, encourage light industry and provide improved social services for the poor, elderly and vulnerable.


Rural incomes shall be secured by commodity exchange boards guaranteeing minimal prices for certain crops and animal products. A nationwide programme for storage and other facilities to reduce spoilage and waste will be undertaken.

Agricultural hubs will be created throughout the nation to increase production and engage in value-added processing. The livestock sector will be introduced to best modern practices and steps taken to minimize the perennial conflict over land and water resources in this sector.

Through these actions, food shall be made more abundant yet less costly. Farmers shall earn more while the average Nigerian pays less.


We shall continue the efforts of the Buhari administration on infrastructure. Progress toward national networks of roads, rail and ports shall get priority attention.


We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime which has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor. Subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources. We shall instead re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions.


Monetary policy needs thorough housecleaning. The Central Bank must work towards a unified exchange rate. This will direct funds away from arbitrage into meaningful investment in the plant, equipment and jobs that power the real economy.

Interest rates need to be reduced to increase investment and consumer purchasing in ways that sustain the economy at a higher level.

Whatever merits it had in concept, the currency swap was too harshly applied by the CBN given the number of unbanked Nigerians. The policy shall be reviewed. In the meantime, my administration will treat both currencies as legal tender.


Given the world in which we reside, please permit a few comments regarding foreign policy.

The crisis in Sudan and the turn from democracy by several nations in our immediate neighbourhood are of pressing concern.

As such, my primary foreign policy objective must be the peace and stability of the West African subregion and the African continent. We shall work with ECOWAS, the AU and willing partners in the international community to end extant conflicts and to resolve new ones.

As we contain threats to peace, we shall also retool our foreign policy to more actively lead the regional and continental quest for collective prosperity.


This is the proudest day of my life. But this day does not belong to me. It belongs to you, the people of Nigeria.

On this day, Nigeria affirms its rightful place among the world’s great democracies. There, Nigeria shall reside forever. 

The course of our past and the promise of the future have brought us to this exceptional moment.

In this spirit, I ask you to join me in making Nigeria a more perfect nation and democracy such that the Nigerian ideal becomes and forever remains the Nigerian reality.  

With full confidence in our ability, I declare that these things are within our proximate reach because my name is Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and I am the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

May God bless you and

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TRENDING VIDEO: Soludo Breaks Silence On Entry Denial At Tinubu’s Inauguration



Governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, has broken his silence on the viral video which shows him being denied entry into the area where he initially attempted to seat during the Monday, May 29, 2023 inauguration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Nigeria’s new President.

In the about 30 second video, Governor Soludo can be seen trying unsuccessfully to convince security and protocol officials to grant him entry, following which he moves to the area to which he is redirected.

However, speaking through his Press Secretary, Mr Christian Aburime, Prof. Soludo said in a statement on Monday afternoon that what happened has been mischievously misinterpreted by his detractors.

The statement said: “The video shows Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo arriving the Eagle Square for the Presidential swearing-in ceremony in Abuja and was subsequently being re-directed courteously by protocol officials to the rightful position reserved for him at the other side of the VVIPs sitting positions.

“Redirecting invited guests to their rightful sitting position is neither an issue nor a condescending act.

“For the records, Governor Soludo remains one of the few Governors that was respectfully honoured and invited officially to attend the presidential swearing-in ceremony.

“Consequently, we call on the general public to disregard the trending video. It is pure mischief and deliberate act to mis-inform the public.”

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BREAKING: As SSS Blocks EFCC Officials From Accessing Lagos Office



“They even placed an armoured tank just to scare us away,” one EFCC official told this newspaper.

Officials of the State Security Service (SSS) Tuesday morning prevented officials of the anti-graft agency, EFCC, from gaining access to their office in Ikoyi, Lagos.

As of the time of this report, all the EFCC officials at the office in Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, were prevented from accessing the building by SSS officials, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

“They even placed an armoured tank just to scare us away,” one EFCC official told this newspaper.

Sources in both agencies said there has been an ongoing rivalry between both agencies over the ownership of the building.

Details later…

Premium Times

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