More than 10 of 18 parties are dissatisfied with the conduct of the 2023 general elections. They have filed around of 431 petitions at the various election tribunals in 27 states of the country. This quashes the victories of those the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared winners.
There are currently five petitions against the INEC for declaring Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of APC as the president-elect. This brings the preliminary number of petitions to 436. However, the number would rise further if petitions from the remaining nine states are included.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party is also calling for an annulment of Tinubu’s victory.
The Labour Party (LP), Action Alliance(AA), United People’s Movement (UPM) and Action People’s Party (APP) candidates have also filed petitions.
There are also petitions against the results for the Governor, Senate, House of Assembly, and State Representative seats.
Apart from the five parties kicking against the result of the presidential election, other parties at the tribunals include the APC, Social Democratic Party, New Nigeria Peoples Party, All Progressives Grand Alliance, and Young Progressives Party.
The number of petitions may rise further after the April 15 supplementary polls for two governorship, five senatorial, 31 House of Representatives, and 57 state assembly slots.
Across the states, the tally of petitions is; Abia (35), Anambra (31), Ebonyi (2), Enugu (14), Akwa Ibom (15), Bayelsa (9), Cross River (13), Delta (25), Edo (14)Rivers (34), Lagos (30), Ekiti (4), Ogun (18), Ondo (9), Osun (14) and Oyo (20).
Others are Benue (17), Niger (11), Kogi (2), Plateau (16), Adamawa (8), Bauchi (15), Gombe (3), Taraba (7), Yobe (3), Kaduna (18), Katsina (11), Kano (23) and Kebbi (8) among others.
Speaking on the controversies trailing the 2023 general polls, a source in the INEC said the 2023 exercises were the best since 1999.
There was no data on the number of petitions filed in 1999 when three parties – Alliance for Democracy, AD; All Peoples Party, APP; and PDP contested the elections. The AD and APP fielded a joint Presidential Candidate, Chief Olu Falae against PDP’s Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Falae did not challenge Obasanjo’s victory at the tribunal.
However, for the following electoral cycles, there were 564 petitions in 2003; 1,291 in 2007; 732 in 2011; 611 in 2015 and 807 in 2019.
The source said:-
“The INEC crashed post-election litigation to half of what we had in 2019 with the innovations it introduced such as the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System, BVAS, and e-transmission of election results. It is very sad that the commission experienced glitches in the transmission of the presidential election results in real-time from the polling units. The 2023 general elections are like no other. We have never witnessed the kind of upsets we had this year. We had governors and political heavyweights losing elections they should not lose. BVAS ensured that the voter’s list was not padded and votes cast inflated.
“The number of post-election litigation shows how credible the elections were compared to what we had in the past. There are about 400 post-election petitions in 2023. In 2019 we had 807 post-election litigations. The parties complaining fared worse than INEC in organizing primaries. There was 1,370 pre-election litigation in 2023 compared to 370 in 2019.”
cc: Vanguard Ng