Tribunal on Nigeria’s disputed election kicks off

As opposition parties press ahead with a legal challenge to overturn the election result, their chances of success are slim, experts say.


A court hearing led by opposition politicians challenging Nigeria’s presidential election result in February opened at the Court of Appeal in Abuja on Monday.

Police blocked roads in the capital’s centre and shut down a protest of around 100 demonstrators outside the courthouse.

Opposition leaders Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party and Peter Obi of the Labour Party are seeking to overturn the election result based on irregularities at polling stations and alleged breaches of national electoral law.

Lawyers fighting the opposition’s legal battle argue that the election result was exposed to manipulation as votes were not electronically uploaded directly after voting.

Section 50 (2) of Nigeria’s 2022 Electoral Act states that results should be transmitted electronically, according to a procedure determined by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The European Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria issued a statement shortly after voting ended saying that while the election had been held on schedule, a lack of “transparency and operational failures” by Nigeria’s electoral commission “reduced trust in the process and challenged the right to vote”.

In March INEC released 7778 documents to opposition lawyers to prosecute its case.

Chances are slim that the election results will be overturned, as never before in Nigeria’s history have defeated opposition parties succeeded in overturning election results through a legal challenge, says one election strategist.

A ruling by five judges comprising the Presidential Election Petition Court is expected in a matter of weeks as they have 180 days from the date the petition was filed in March to come to a decision.

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