A request by Nigerian opposition parties to overturn the result of the election over claims of voting irregularities has been dismissed by a Nigerian court, upholding President Muhammadu Buhari's victory earlier this year, AFP reported on Wednesday, September 11th.
Buhari, 76, won a second term with 56 per cent of the February poll, which was long delayed and extended by violence. This was followed by opposition parties lodging a legal challenge against the March results, citing that 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 election a "sham."
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. Later on, Judge Mohammed Garba ruled the petition dismissed in its entirety, a ruling that was widely expected after Buhari's government took office last month.
Buhari has insisted that the election was free and fair, claiming the vote was "another milestone in Nigeria's democratic development."
It was slightly ambiguous whether the opposition parties would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, the country's highest court; however, EU and local observers spoke of "serious problems" in the February election, which was hit by violence, including 53 deaths.
Nonetheless, some have reported voters and officials being exposed to vote-buying, intimidation, and violence, which have been a problem in previous elections in Nigeria, according on AFP.