Presidential Tussle: 7 Supreme Court Justices Who’ll Decide Tinubu, Atiku, Obi’s Fate Today

Date:

Oct 26,2023.

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The die is cast. The legal fisticuffs over the February 25 presidential election will be concluded today as a seven-man panel of the Supreme Court rules on the appeals of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr. Peter Obi challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu.

Atiku, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; and Obi, his Labour Party, LP, counterpart, are seeking to nullify the election of President Tinubu, who contested on the banner of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The two lost their quest to stop Tinubu at the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, on September 6 and consequently approached the apex court, which heard their appeals, on Monday. All the parties -Atiku, PDP, Obi, LP, Tinubu, APC, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, adopted their final briefs of argument on Monday and the court led by Justice Inyang Okoro reserved its judgment.

The apex court communicated today’s judgment date to all the parties, yesterday, through a notice signed by one of its Registrars.

The seven justices who will take the landmark decision today are Inyang Okoro, Uwani Abba-Aji, Lawal Garba, Ibrahim Saulawa, Adamu Jauro, Abubakar Tijjani and Emmanuel Akomaye Agim

Atiku, Obi’s appeals

Atiku and Obi are challenging the INEC’s declaration that Tinubu of the ruling APC, was the valid winner of the February 25 presidential election, and are praying the apex court to set aside the September 6 judgment of the PEPC, which dismissed their allegation that the election was rigged in favour of the APC.

Apart from challenging President Tinubu’s eligibility to participate in the contest, Atiku, who came second and Obi who came third, maintained that Tinubu did not secure the majority of valid votes cast during the election to be declared the winner.

Though five petitions were initially entered against the declaration of President Tinubu as winner of the presidential contest that involved 17 candidates, only three of the petitions made it to the apex court.

Whereas two of the petitions were withdrawn before they could even be heard by the PEPC, which held its proceedings at the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, of the three petitions that were entered at the Supreme Court, only two made it to the last lap of the litigation.

The seven-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Inyang Okoro, had on Monday, dismissed the case the Allied Peoples Movement, APM, instituted to nullify President Tinubu’s victory, after the party reluctantly withdrew its appeal which the panel insisted was academic and of no useful legal purpose.

Consequently, the surviving appeals were the ones filed by a former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi.

We’ve a good case at the apex court —LP

Meanwhile, the LP has expressed confidence that it will emerge victorious in today’s ruling of the court, hinging its confidence on the quality and quantity of evidence as well as what it described as its convincing arguments before the Supreme Court.

National Legal Adviser of the party, Kehinde Edun said this in an interactive session with reporters, in Abuja, yesterday.

He spoke while responding to a question on the party’s expectations ahead of today’s judgment by the Supreme Court.

The Legal Adviser said: “We are expecting victory because that is what justice demands; that is what Nigerians want. We will not lose hope. We have presented our case before the court. We are confident of victory for the Labour Party and for Nigerians. We know that there will be jubilation everywhere in Nigeria.”

Profile of the justices

A peep into the profiles of the six men and a woman, shows a collection of justices who have made their mark on the bench.

Justice John Okoro

Justice Okoro, the head of the panel, was born on July 11, 1959 in Nung Ukim, Ikono Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

He attended Methodist School, Nung Ukim from 1965-1972, Boys High School, Oron from 1973-1977, School of Arts & Science, Uyo 1979-1981 and the University of Lagos from 1981-1984.

He attended the Nigerian Law School, Lagos and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1985.

Justice Okoro started his legal career as Magistrate Grade 11 in 1986 and rose through the Magisterial Cadre culminating in his promotion to the post of Chief Magistrate Grade 1 in 1996.

He was then appointed a Judge of the High Court of Akwa Ibom State from 1998-2006. His Lordship was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 2006 and he served in that capacity up to 2013.

He has over the years served in different capacities and bodies including; Member, Election Petition Tribunal, Kano, 1998; Member, Governorship and Legislative Houses Election Petition Tribunal, Ondo State, 2003; and Member, Governorship and Legislative Houses Election Petition Tribunal No.2 Delta State, 2003.

He has also attended several seminars, workshops and conferences both locally and internationally.

Justice Okoro was elevated to the Supreme Court on November 15, 2013.

He is currently the fourth most senior justice of the court.

Justice Uwani Musa Abba-Aji

Justice Abba Aji is the most ranking female jurist on the apex court bench and the only female on the panel.

She was born on November 7, 1956, in Gashua, Yobe State. She attended Central Primary School Gashua and Government Girls Secondary School Maiduguri for her Primary and secondary education between 1961 and 1972.

She obtained a Diploma in Law from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria in 1976 and subsequently, an L.L.B (Hons) from the same institution in 1980. She was called to the Bar in 1981 and commenced her career as State Counsel in 1982.

Among other positions, Justice Abba-Aji was Clerical Assistant (Area Courts Division), Assistant Registrar, Acting Registrar and Higher Registrar between 1973 and 1982.

 

After her appointment as State Counsel in 1982, she rose through various positions becoming an Acting Senior State Counsel in 1984, Senior Magistrate II in 1986, Senior Magistrate I in 1987, Chief Magistrate II in 1989, Chief Magistrate I in 1991 and Chief Registrar in November 1991.

 

She was appointed Higher Court Judge of Yobe State Judiciary in December 1991 making her the first Lady Judge in Yobe State Judiciary, a position she held until July 2004 when she was elevated to the Court of Appeal.

 

Before her elevation to the Supreme Court on January 8, 2019, Justice Abba-Aji was the Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal Kaduna Division, a position she held for four years.

Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba

Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba was born on November 16, 1958. He hails from Gusau Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

He attended Demonstration Primary School, Maru from 1965-1971, Government Secondary School, Gusau from 1972 -1976, School of Basic Studies Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria from 1976-1977, Faculty of Law, A.B.U, Zaria from 1977-1980, Nigerian Law School, Lagos, from 1980-1981 and the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (UNILAG) Akoka, Lagos in 1989.

He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1981.

He served as Magistrate in the Sokoto State Judiciary from 1982-1986, Deputy Chief Registrar High Court of Justice, Sokoto State from 1989-1991, appointed Solicitor-General/Director-General Ministry of Justice Sokoto State from 1991-1993.

He was then appointed a Judge of the High Court of Justice, Sokoto State from 1993-1996. He served as Chief Judge, High Court of Justice, Zamfara State from 1996-2004.

In 2004, Justice Garba was elevated to the Court of Appeal and served at various times as the Presiding Justice in Abuja, Calabar, Port Harcourt and Lagos Divisions of the Court from 2010-2020.(www naija247news.com)

 

Peter Okafor
Peter Okaforhttp://Naija247news.com
Peter Okafor Financial Journalist | Editor | Contributor Overview: Peter Okafor is a seasoned Financial Journalist, astute Editor, and valued Contributor at Naija247news Media Group. With an unwavering passion for dissecting complex financial landscapes, Peter has become a trusted name in delivering incisive and insightful coverage of economic events, market trends, and corporate dynamics. Professional Journey Peter's journey in financial journalism has been marked by a commitment to excellence. Joining the ranks of Naija247news, he has consistently demonstrated a keen understanding of the intricate interplay between finance and the global socio-economic fabric. Expertise: Specializing in financial markets, economic analyses, and business developments, Peter Okafor has honed his expertise over the years. His ability to unravel intricate financial narratives and present them in a comprehensible manner sets him apart in the world of financial journalism. Contributions As an Editor and Contributor, Peter has played a pivotal role in shaping the narrative of Naija247news. His contributions extend to thought-provoking articles, in-depth market analyses, and coverage of key events that impact the financial landscape. Educational Background: Peter holds a degree in Journalism, complemented by specialized courses in Finance and Business Reporting. His educational foundation has provided him with the tools to navigate the intricate world of financial journalism. Innovation and Adaptability: In an era of evolving media landscapes, Peter Okafor exemplifies innovation and adaptability. Leveraging digital platforms and emerging technologies, he ensures that financial insights reach a diverse audience, fostering financial literacy and awareness. Awards and Recognition: Peter's commitment to journalistic excellence has not gone unnoticed. He has been the recipient of several awards, recognizing his outstanding contributions to the field of financial journalism. Vision for the Future: Looking ahead, Peter Okafor envisions a future where financial journalism continues to empower individuals, shape economic policies, and drive positive change. His dedication to staying at the forefront of financial news underscores his commitment to this vision. Connect with Peter Okafor: - LinkedIn: [Peter Okafor](#) - Twitter: [@PeterOkafor_N247](#) In the dynamic realm of financial journalism, Peter Okafor stands as a stalwart, combining experience, expertise, and a forward-looking vision to illuminate the path of financial understanding for a global audience.

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