The Supreme Court, on Thursday, affirmed President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the valid winner of the presidential election that held in the country on February 25.
The apex court, in its lead judgement that was prepared and read by Justice Inyang Okoro, held that there was no merit in the petition that a former President and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, filed to nullify the outcome of the election.
It held that Atiku did not prove that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, did not substantially comply with provisions of the Electoral Act, in the conduct of the election.
The apex court held that section 185(1) of the Evidence Act provided that an election should not be liable to be invalidated, when alleged non compliance did not substantially affect the outcome of an election.
It held that evidence contained in the record of the appeal showed that the Appellants abandoned the duty imposed on them by the law to not only prove the alleged non compliance, but to establish that failure of INEC to transmit results of the election through its IReV portal, influenced the outcome of the presidential poll.
The Supreme Court said it had in past judgements, made it clear that there was a difference between election result collation system and the IReV portal.
“Where the IReV portal fails, it does not stop the collation which up till the last election was manually done,” the court held.
Nevertheless, it stressed that INEC’s failure to electronically transmit results of the election, denied the electorates the opportunity to follow and cross-check results that were eventually uploaded.
“Truth must be told, the non transmission of results to the IReV portal may also reduce the confidence of the voting population in the electoral process,” the Supreme Court warned.
The apex court held that Atiku and PDP did not prove that they suffered any miscarriage of justice as a result of the dismissal of their petition by the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC.
It described as misconceived and misplaced, Atiku’s contention that Tinubu ought not have been declared winner of the presidential election, having failed to secure 25% votes in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.
It declared that he garnered a total of 8,794,726 votes to defeat his two major rivals, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who came second with a total of 6,984,520 votes, and Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party, who came third with a total of 6,101,533 votes.