Note: this check has been updated from the earlier published
Update: PEPT Fixes September 6 To Deliver Verdict
The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPT) will deliver judgement on the petitions challenging the election of Bola Tinubu on Wednesday, September 6th 2023.
This disclosure was made known by the Court of Appeal Registrar Umar Bangari on Monday.
According to the statement notifying the public of the judgement, the chief registrar said live broadcast will be allowed for transparency.
The Labour Party (LP), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), as well as their presidential candidates, had petitioned the tribunal seeking to nullify the election of President Bola Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential election.
Among other issues, the petitioners submitted that since Tinubu failed to secure 25 percent of votes cast in the federal capital territory (FCT) he should not have been declared winner of the February 25 election.
They claimed that the president was indicted for drug trafficking in the United States, that his academic certificates submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were forged, and that Tinubu is a citizen of Guinea. Therefore, Tinubu and Kashim Shettima, the vice-president, were not eligible to contest the presidential poll.
In the past weeks, the social media has been awash with several claims and rumours associated with the judiciary, candidates as well as the date set aside by the PEPT to deliver judgement on the petitions. FactCheckElections found one of such claims to be false here.
With this announcement from the Court of Appeal, the wait among Nigerians seems to be over now as they all shift their eyes to the judgement day.
Several users have earlier 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 judgement 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
BREAKING; PEPT chose September 16 (the last day) as Judgement Day for (Peter Obi & the Labour Party) Vs Tinubu, INEC, Shettima & the APC. They chose the last day as Judgement Day for Atiku Vs them as well
Why choose the last day to deliver a very critical judgement? TO WHAT END?
— NEFERTITI (@firstladyship) August 28, 2023
“Whenever a case is delayed at the Palace without any genuine reason, just know that the rich man is guilty”
— John Reuben (@iamjohnreuben) August 28, 2023
Why choosing the last day as the judgement day? I hope nothing fishy is being cooked. The judges should look at the faces of Nigerians first before they hatch anything funny. pic.twitter.com/RjSsxvPsDW
— MEZU KINGSLEY (@Mezon4) August 28, 2023
Is this a trap? Why deliver judgement on the very last day. pic.twitter.com/feNBPmc3Nv
— Sandy (@Sandyobasy) August 27, 2023
PEPT chose September 16 (the last day) as Judgement Day for (Peter Obi & the Labour Party) Vs Tinubu, INEC, Shettima & the APC.
YAKUBU Declared a winner at 4am
PEPT Chose last day for judgement
— OLA MI LEKAN (@Onlineguru_) August 28, 2023
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.
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.
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.
The viral claim is false. The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal is yet to fix a date to deliver its verdict. The date set by PEPT is September 6th as noted above.