The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) has finally released its judgment which affirmed the election of Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s president during the February 23 general election.
The tribunal headed by Justice Mohammed Garba, had on Wednesday delivered judgment on the petition brought before it by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Mr. Abubakar was the presidential candidate of the PDP while Mr. Buhari, who was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The PEPT was made up of five justices of the Court of Appeal including its Chairman, Mohammed Garba.
The other justices were Abdu Aboki, Joseph Ikyegh, Samuel Oseji and Peter Ige.
While delivering the lead judgment, Justice Garba had dismissed all the grounds canvased by Mr. Abubakar and the PDP.
“I have come to the inevitable decision and conclusion that the petitioners have not proved any of the grounds contained in paragraph 15 of the petition, as required by the law.
“For the failure of the petitioner to satisfactorily discharge the burden or onus of proof placed on them by law, this petition is liable to be and is hereby dismissed in its entirely,” Justice Garba had ruled.
But shortly before the tribunal rose, the justices pleaded with the parties to the case to allow them correct the many grammatical errors in the judgment before sending them copies.
However, about 48 hours after, the tribunal could not make copies of the judgment available, prompting the PDP and M. Abubakar to raise the alarm over the delay.
It was after the close of work on Friday that the PEPT finally released the certified true copy of the judgment.
The 295-page judgment showed that a total of 212 lawyers announced their presence and were listed in the record of the tribunal.
While 35 lawyers including 22 senior advocates represented Mr. Abubakar and the PDP, who were the first and second petitioner, respectively.
On its part, INEC which was the first respondent paraded a total of 46 lawyers including five senor advocates, while Mr. Buhari, who was he second respondent, hired a total of 65 lawyers including 15 senior advocates.
The APC, which was the third respondent paraded 66 lawyers- the highest number – with a total of 12 senior advocates.