Six Nigerian states abandon bid to nullify presidential election

ABUJA, March 3 (Reuters) – Six opposition-led Nigerian states on Friday night withdrew a petition to the Supreme Court to invalidate the result of last weekend’s presidential election, which they argued was fraudulent. That’s a violation of the rules, court papers showed.

The states did not provide reasons for their decisions in a court filing signed by their attorneys general.

Separately, losing presidential candidate Peter Obi secured a court order to give his party access to election materials in the possession of the Election Commission as his campaign collects data for a possible legal challenge.

Ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party candidate Bola Tinubu was declared the winner on Wednesday, but two main opposition challengers said the result was fraudulent and vowed to challenge it in court.

An appeals court order showed Obi, who came third in the polls behind Tinubu and main opposition challenger Atiku Abubakar, sought and was granted materials including ballots and voting machines.

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Obi still has three weeks to file a petition in the court under the 2022 Electoral Act.

Election observers from the European Union, the Commonwealth and other bodies reported a number of problems during the voting and vote counting, including failures in systems designed to prevent vote manipulation.

Observers criticized the independent National Electoral Commission for poor planning and delays in voting but did not allege fraud. The Commission apologized for the technical difficulties during the counting of votes.

In Nigeria, elections are usually challenged at the Court of Appeal, which sits as a tribunal.

There have been several legal challenges to the result of past Nigerian presidential elections but none have been successful.

Additional reporting by Tim Cox in Lagos

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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