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7 PDP states withdraw case against Tinubu’s election, say suit ‘overtaken by events’

Seven state governments under the control of the Peoples Democratic Party have withdrawn their suit filed before the Supreme Court against the Federal Government challenging the results of the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections.

The states, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Taraba and Sokoto, discontinued the suit which had their attorneys-general as plaintiffs and the Attorney General of the Federation as the sole defendant.

The states had in the originating summons marked, SC/CV/354/2023, sought an order of the apex court directing a wholistic review of all results so far announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

They alleged that the collation and announcement of the results were carried out other than through the manner prescribed by the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, 2022; and the INEC Manual for Election Officials.

The suit was pursuant to sections 6 (6) (a), 14 (2) (b), 153 (1) (F) and 232 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended); sections 25 (1), (2) and 60 and 66 of the Electoral Act, 2022.

They had asked the court to intervene in the recently concluded general elections after claiming that the declaration of Tinubu as the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission was contrary to the provision of the Electoral Act and INEC’s guidelines which centred on uploading of results to the IREV through the bimodal voter accreditation system.

They said non-compliance with the due process of law led to widespread agitation, violent protests, displeasure, and disapproval from a wide spectrum of the Nigerian populace, including international observers, political parties, well-meaning Nigerians and former Heads of State of the country.

The plaintiffs had also argued that “whilst queries were being raised as to the failure or deliberate refusal of INEC to transmit the results electronically, INEC suddenly pulled down its portal harbouring the regulations and guidelines, thus leaving the plaintiffs in the dark”.

They also filed another application seeking an order for abridging time for parties to file and serve responses for and against the suit.

However, counsel to the states, Mike Ozekhome, who filed the notice of discontinuance on Friday, signed by their lawyer, on Friday, said having been overtaken by events, the suit would become a tribunal matter.

He said, “The Supreme Court suit between the six states and AG Federation which was filed during the flawed manual collation of results contrary to the clear provisions of the Electoral Act, the INEC Guidelines and Regulations and the manual for INEC officials, has been discontinued due to the fact that the flawed results have already been announced and a President-elect declared, albeit illegally and unconstitutionally.

“Having been overtaken by events, it will now be a tribunal matter.”

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