ABUJA (Nigeria), March 3 (AP) — Six Nigerian states asked the Supreme Court on Friday to invalidate the results of the just-concluded presidential election, the latest in several challenges facing the ruling party’s victory in the election. turning point.
The states, led by the governor of the main opposition party who came in second in last weekend’s election, have accused the Nigerian Electoral Commission of not following its own rules and electoral laws when conducting the vote and announcing the winner, court documents show.
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The results of the 176,000 polling stations needed to be transmitted to the commission’s web portal, which the opposition said did not happen.
Bola Tinubu of the ruling party received 37 per cent of the vote to win the election, which other candidates, including second-place candidate Atiku Abubakar and third-place finisher Peter Obi, say they will challenge in court.
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The states of Sokoto, Adamawa, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Edo said they wanted the Supreme Court to declare the results of the presidential election “null, null and void”.
Nigeria’s electoral laws state that an election can only be invalidated if it can be shown that the Independent National Electoral Commission has largely failed to comply with the law and acted in a way that could have altered the outcome. Nigeria’s presidential election results have never been overturned by the Supreme Court.
Lawyers, however, said the latest court challenge was unique, citing a legal requirement that voting results must be transmitted to election agency portals.
Inibehe Effiong, a lawyer in the Nigerian capital Abuja, said: “Because this requirement was not complied with, I think the integrity of the whole process is questionable.” He added that the court had no other choice, no matter what the precedent showed.
Separately, the Supreme Court extended until the end of the year the deadline for the government to complete the exchange of old currency for new banknotes. The swap created a cash shortage because there weren’t enough redesigned banknotes in circulation in the cash-dependent country. The crisis has sparked violence, long lines at banks and business closures.
A seven-member judicial panel said on Friday that the scheme was implemented in violation of the law, directing that old banknotes of 200 naira (43 cents), 500 naira ($1.08) and 1,000 naira ($2.16) be placed on the Retaining fiat currency status until December 31 is replaced by a redesigned cash.
The central bank had no immediate comment on the court’s direction. In the past, it has been accused of disobeying court orders. (Associated Press)
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