Nigeria’s Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed main opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar’s appeal to overturn the result of February’s presidential vote in which President Muhammadu Buhari won re-election, reported Reuters.
The Supreme court panel said it had examined all the briefs and exhibits submitted by the petitioners before reaching the conclusion.
“We have examined all the briefs and the exhibits for over two weeks and we agree that there is no merit in this appeal,” Chief Justice Muhammad said following the unanimous decision with six court justices. “The appeal is dismissed.”
The panel said it would issue more detailed reasoning for its decision later.
After the ruling was announced, Atiku said Nigeria’s judiciary had been sabotaged and undermined, but also that his effort to fight the result in court had come to an end.
“I must accept that the judicial route I chose to take, as a democrat, has come to a conclusion,” Abubakar said in a statement. “Whether justice was done, is left to the Nigerian people to decide.”
According to electoral commission data, Buhari took 56% of the vote, while his main competitor Atiku got 41% of the vote.
Atiku, the 72-year-old former vice president of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), lodged his initial complaint with the country’s election tribunal, which rejected the plea last month. The PDP described the ruling as “provocative, barefaced subversion of justice” and launched an appeal in Nigeria’s Supreme Court.
Atiku claimed he has been made a victim of a conspiracy between the electoral commission and Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Notably, the European Union and some other local observers also mentioned some “serious problems” in the polls, which was hit by violence including 53 deaths. There were reports of vote-buying, intimidation, and violence towards voters and officials from all across the country.