Seven Peoples Democratic Party-led states, which filed a suit against the Federal Government at the Supreme Court challenging the victory of the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu, at Saturday’s presidential poll, have discontinued the suit.
In the suit, which had the Attorneys-General of the seven states as plaintiffs and the Attorney-General of the Federation as defendant, the seven states, which include Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Taraba and Sokoto states, had asked the Supreme Court to intervene in the just concluded presidential election, claiming that the declaration of Tinubu did not follow the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and the Independent National Electoral Commission’s guidelines.
The suit was challenging the failure of INEC to upload the election results to the IReV through the BVAS. They also expressed fear of a potential breakdown of public order and civil disobedience.
The Notice of Discontinuance, which was signed by the their lawyer, Mr. Mike Ozekhome, on Friday, said, “Take notice that the plaintiffs doth hereby wholly discontinue this suit against the defendant herein…”
Earlier, the states dragged the FG before the Supreme Court over the conduct of the February 25, 2023 presidential and National Assembly elections.
The PUNCH reported that the plaintiffs on February 28 filed the suit on the grounds that, “the collation of the national election results from the 36 states of the Federation, and that of the Federal Capital Territory, for the said 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections have not been carried out in compliance with the mandatory provisions of relevant sections of the Electoral Act, 2022, INEC Regulations and Guidelines.”
In the suit filed by their lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, the plaintiffs alleged that the agents and officials of the federal government and INEC failed to transmit the collated result as prescribed by the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 and other relevant guidelines.
They stated that, “Non-compliance with the due process of law has led to a 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 Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The plaintiffs argued that the federal government through INEC “is empowered by law to correct the elections due to technical glitches and errors arising from the conduct of the elections with substantial effect on the electoral process in line with the provisions of Section 47 (3) of the Electoral Act, 2022; and other relevant sections thereof.
The plaintiffs also asserted that the governments and peoples of the states involved in the suit were entitled to a proper and electoral lawful process and procedure that guarantees a free, fair election.
The plaintiffs were seeking “a declaration that the entire results of the presidential election conducted on the 25th of February, 2023 announced by the Chairman of INEC at the National Collation Centre, Abuja… were invalid, null and void, and of no effect whatsoever.”
The plaintiffs also sought a declaration that the electoral process was fundamentally flawed through the non-uploading of the results of each of the 176,974 Polling Units nationwide.
However, in a twist later on Friday, the plaintiffs asked the court to discontinue the suit.
According to a source close to counsel to the plaintiffs, the withdrawal became necessary “since the election has already been concluded and that the suit was filed while collation was still ongoing, adding that the elections tribunal is the next bus stop.”