FactCheck: Has PEPT Chosen September 16 as the Day To Deliver Judgment? 

Oluwaseye Ogunsanya 

Claim

Several users have made a claim on X (formerly Twitter) that the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Judges have set aside September 16 2023 as the day to deliver judgment in the petitions filed by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Mr. Peter Obi challenging President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February 2023 presidential election. 

Below are some of the posts 

Verdict

False.

Full Text: 

Several users on X (formerly Twitter) have made a claim stating that the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Judges have set aside September 16 2023 as the day to deliver judgment in the petitions filed by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Mr. Peter Obi challenging President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February 2023 presidential election. 

In the various posts, they all questioned why the tribunal would set aside such a day which happens to also be the last day going by the statutory constitutional provision that stipulates that election petitions must be heard and determined within 180 days from the day of filing.

The Issues 

Among other things, Obi and Atiku in their respective petitions faulted Tinubu’s academic record, citizenship, and allegation of criminal record. They are also challenging the election on the basis of INEC’s failure to carry out electronic transmission of results from the polling units.

They also maintained that Tinubu failed to get a majority of votes cast in the election and 25 percent of votes cast in the federal capital territory (FCT) which they argued is a constitutional requirement for a candidate to win the election.

The petitioners also claimed that the APC vice-presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima, had a double nomination both as vice-president and as senatorial candidate for Borno Central.

The PDP and Atiku called 27 witnesses and submitted several documents before the tribunal to prove their case while Obi and his party presented 13 witnesses.

The Justice Haruna Simon Tsamani-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal had since reserved judgment after parties in the suit adopted their final addresses.

Since the tribunal reserved judgment after petitioners adopted their final addresses, Nigerians have expressed concerns about what they see as a delay by the tribunal in delivering judgment or at least setting a date to deliver judgment. This has led to the unending peddling of rumours that best suit their preferred candidate on social media platforms by supporters of different political parties involved. 

Verification

Checks by FactCheckElections revealed that according to the electoral act, the tribunal has 180 days to determine the petitions. As a result, the court is expected to round up all its activities on or before September 16, 2023. 

Similarly, The five-member panel of justices led by Harunna Tsammani had said earlier in the month that a date would be communicated to parties after the tribunal reserved judgment on the petitions.

We also came across a yet-to-be confirmed statement here attributed to the Secretary of the PEPT, Barrister Josephine J. Ekperobe, which denied fixing September 16 2023 as the day to deliver its verdict.

Conclusion

The viral claim is false. The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal is yet to fix a date to deliver its verdict. 

Note: This check will be updated as soon as the PEPT secretary’s statement is confirmed or debunked

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *