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Wole Olanipekun, 11 Other SANs To Defend Tinubu’s Mandate

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The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has appointed 12 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) to defend the mandate of its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in the just concluded election.

Recall that Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states, higher than his closest rival, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

While the former vice president came second with 6,984,520 votes, the candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Peter Obi, finished the race with 6,101,533.

Both Atiku and Obi have rejected the outcome of the election, vowing to seek redress in court.

But the ruling party, in its readiness to defend the mandate, said it is willing to meet the opposition parties in court.

In a statement on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, the party’s National Legal Adviser, Ahmad Usman El-Marzuq, released the 13-man list comprising 12 senior advocates.

Top on the list is a legal icon, Wole Olanipekun, who is also the lead counsel to the ruling party at the Presidential Election Tribunal.

“The All Progressives Congress (APC) has appointed a team of highly qualified and experienced lawyers to represent the Party at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal,” the statement read.

“The team is composed of legal luminaries with vast experience in election petition matters, constitutional law, and litigation.

“The legal team consisting of twelve (12) Senior Advocates of Nigeria and the National Legal Adviser of the Party, Ahmad Usman El-Marzuq, Esq., is led by Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, a renowned lawyer who has successfully handled various high-profile election matters and other landmark cases.”

Other members of the list are Ahmad Usman El-Marzuq, Sam Ologunorisa, Rotimi Oguneso, Olabisi Soyebo, Gboyega Oyewole, Muritala Abdulrasheed, Aliyu Omezia Saiki, Tajudeen Oladoja, Pius Akubo, Oluseye Opasanya, Suraju Saida and Kazeem Adeniyi.

Bola Tinubu Declared Winner Of Nigeria’s Presidential Election As Opposition Party Vows Challenge

A Nigerian opposition party has said it will launch a legal challenge after Bola Ahmed Tinubu was on Wednesday declared the winner of Nigeria’s controversial presidential elections.

Tinubu, 70, represents the ruling All Progressives Congress party, which received close to 8.8 million votes – about 36.6% of the total, according to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman Mahmood Yakubu.

He defeated vice president Atiku Abubakar of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and a third leading candidate Peter Obi, who gained popularity among young people with his lesser-known Labour Party.

“We won this election as Labour Party, we are going to claim our mandate as Labour Party,” said Datti-Baba Ahmad, the party’s Vice Presidential candidate.

Obi is yet to comment on the official results.

However, Ndi Kato, Labour Party’s presidential campaign spokesperson told CNN on Wednesday: “We are defiant. The elections were rigged.”

In his acceptance speech, Tinubu struck a conciliatory tone, asking his opponents “to team up together.”

“It (Nigeria) is the only nation we have. It is one country, and we must build together. Let’s work together to put broken pieces together,” he said.

Tinubu also thanked voters and said he was “profoundly humbled.”

“This is a shining moment in the life of any man and an affirmation of our democratic existence,” he said. “I represent a promise and with your support, I know that promise will be fulfilled.”

Videos from the capital Abuja showed Tinubu’s supporters cheering and celebrating the win.

Kingmaker turned king

Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos state, represents the same party as outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari, who Tinubu said he helped propel to the top seat in 2015.

After decades spent behind the scenes, Tinubu launched his campaign for the presidency with the motto: “It’s my turn.”

He will become Nigeria’s fifth elected president since 1999, winning the race for the country’s top job on his first attempt.

Buhari congratulated his soon-to-be successor in a statement Wednesday, calling him “the best person for the job.”

Vote counting since Saturday’s polls has been vehemently challenged by many who allege the process has been marred by corruption and technical failures. On Tuesday, the country’s main opposition parties described the results of the election as “heavily doctored and manipulated” in a joint news conference.

They said they had lost confidence in Yakubu, the electoral body chairman, and that the results “do not reflect the wishes of Nigerians.”

The INEC has rejected the calls for a fresh vote, with one spokesperson insisting the election process had been “free, fair and credible.”

In his speech, Tinubu also commended the INEC for “running a credible election no matter what anybody says.”

But several observers, including the European Union, have also criticized the election for lacking transparency.

“The election fell well short of Nigerian citizens’ reasonable expectations,” said a joint observer mission of the International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI).

Source: Daily Post

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