2023 Election: 50 Lawyers To Defend Tinubu Against Obi, Atiku

Legal icon, Wole Olanipekun and 49 other lawyers have offered to uphold the victory of Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Tinubu at the election tribunal.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is leading the team of legal team of the All Progressives Congress (APC)

Other senior lawyers in the legal team are a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Akin Olujimi, Yusuf Ali, Lateef Fagbemi, A.U. Mustapha, Ahmed Raji, Abiodun Owonikoko, Kemi Pinheiro, Niyi Akintola and H.M. Liman.

Also in the team are Taiwo Osipitan, Babatunde Ogala, Roland Otaru, James Onoja, Muiz Banire, Olusola Oke and a former Bauchi State Governor Mohammed Abubakar.

The APC legal team is led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and that team has picked the group of lawyers that will represent Tinubu. The lawyers are expected to hold a preliminary meeting today in Lagos.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) are challenging the outcomes of the presidential election held on February 25.

Tinubu of the APC polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and Peter Obi of LP who both placed second and third respectively with 6,984,520 and 6,101,533 scores respectively.

But the first and second runners-up have sought leave of the tribunal to inspect some election materials used for the poll.

A source in an interview with The Nation Newspaper said that, “Buoyed by patriotism and the need to protect the sanctity of the ballot, about 50 SANs have signed up to defend the mandate of Asiwaju Tinubu. The figure may be more in the next few days.

“Some of these legal giants have either not met with Tinubu or seeking any favour from him. They believe that the February 25 poll was credible and the best in the history of Nigeria.”

READ MORE: Election Results: Ayu, Okowa, Other PDP Leaders To Protest At INEC Headquarters Monday

The source added: “In spite of the noise in the media, both Atiku and Obi have not served Tinubu and APC a copy of any petition before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.

“But the defence team of Tinubu will meet on Tuesday (today) in Lagos ahead of allowing Atiku and Obi to get their acts together.”

Section 130 (1, 2and 3) of the Electoral Act 2022 says: “No election and return at any election under this Act shall be questioned in any manner other than by a petition complaining of an undue election or undue return presented to the competent tribunal or court in accordance with the provisions of the constitution or of this Act and in which the person elected or returned is joined as a party.

“In this part, ‘tribunal’ means-(a) in the case of the presidential election, the Court of Appeal; and (b) in the case of any other elections under this Act, the election tribunal established under the Constitution or by this Act.

“The election tribunals shall-(a) be constituted not later than 30 days before the election; and (b) when constituted, open their registries for business seven days before the election.”