A Nigerian court on Wednesday upheld President Muhammadu Buhari’s election victory earlier this year, dismissing a request by opposition parties to overturn the result over claims of voting irregularities.
Buhari, 76, won a second term with 56 per cent of the February poll, which was long-delayed.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who came in second with 41 per cent, immediately called the result a “sham”. Opposition parties lodged a legal challenge against the result in March.
Abubakar, 72, said he had been cheated of the chance to lead Africa’s most populous state after a conspiracy between the electoral commission INEC and Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
However, on Wednesday, the presidential election tribunal found there was no evidence of the opposition’s claims.
“This petition is, hereby, dismissed in its entirety,” judge Mohammed Garba said on Wednesday.
The ruling was widely expected, with Buhari’s government taking office last month.
Buhari has insisted that the election was free and fair, claiming the vote was “another milestone in Nigeria’s democratic development”.
In a press statement reacting to the verdict, the opposition party says it will head to the country’s supreme court to appeal the ruling of the lower court.
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