List of Supreme Court Judges Who May Decide Nigeria’s Next President as Atiku, Peter Obi File Petitions
As some top presidential candidates have rejected the outcome of the February 25 presidential election and filed petitions against Bola Tinubu's victory, the cases may get to the Supreme Court, Nigeria's apex court, for final adjudication.
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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, the winner of the election after polling over eight million votes.
However, his close rivals, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) have filed petitions to challenge his victory.
The petition starts at the Presidential Election Petition Court (the Court of Appeal) and at the Supreme Court if the parties involved were not satisfied with the judgement of the appeal court.
This piece lists the current 13 justices of the Supreme Court who may decide the next president of Nigeria if the case gets to the apex court.
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Their verdict may either affirm the election of the president-elect, Tinubu, or sack him.
1. Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Olukayode Ariwoola
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 2011. He was at the Court of Appeal between 2005 and 2011.
According to a report by the ICIR, Ariwoola represented the then Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, on the five justices that ruled on the nullification of all votes that the APC got in all elections conducted in Zamfara State in 2019 because the party did not conduct a valid primary.
He was also among the eight-man Supreme Court justices who removed the PDP’s Emeka Ihedioha and declared Hope Uzodinma the winner of the
The current CJN was also among the five-man justices that unanimously nullified the election of APC candidate David Lyon and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo, in Bayelsa state in February 2020.
2. Musa Dattijo
Musa Dattijo Muhammad was appointed a Supreme Court judge in July 2012.
Before then, he had worked as a judge of the High Court, Niger state, in 1989, as justice of the Court of Appeal in 1998, as presiding Justice, Sokoto Division, Court of Appeal in 2009 and as Presiding Justice, Port Harcourt Division in 2010.
3. Kudirat Motonmori Olatokunbo Kekere-Ekun
Kudirat Motonmori Olatokunbo Kekere-Ekun was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on June 8, 2013.
She read the judgement that sacked Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State on January 14, 2020.
The Supreme Court Justice was a member of the panel that declared Kogi state governor Yahaya Bello the winner of the 2019 governorship election and dismissed the PDP’s Musa Wada’s appeal.
4. John Inyang Okoro
Justice John Inyang Okoro was elevated to the Supreme Court on November 15, 2013.
Okoro was one of the five justices that ruled on the nullification of all votes that the APC got in Zamfara state in the 2019 election because the party did not conduct a valid primary.
5. Chima Centus Nweze
Chima Centus Nweze became a justice of the Supreme Court in 2014 after serving at the Court of Appeal between 2008 and 2014.
The Supreme Court justice was part of the team that declared the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, winner of the Yobe North senatorial ticket for the APC for the 2023 elections.
6. Amina Adamu Augie
Amina Adamu Augie was elevated to the Court of Appeal Bench in 2002 and consequently rose to become a Supreme Court justice on November 7, 2016.
She was one of the eight-man Supreme Court justices who removed the PDP’s Emeka Ihedioha and declared Hope Uzodinma the winner of the 2019 governorship election in Imo state.
7. Uwani Musa Abba Aji
Uwani Musa Abba Aji became a Supreme Court justice on January 8, 2019.
She was part of the five justices that ruled on the nullification of all votes that the APC got in Zamfara state in the 2019 election.
8. Mohammed Lawal Garba
Mohammed Lawal Garba was elevated to the Supreme Court on November 6, 2020.
He was among the five-man judges who declared the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, winner of the Yobe North senatorial ticket for the APC.
9. Helen Moronkeji Ogunwumiju
Helen Moronkeji Ogunwumiju was elevated to the Supreme Court on November 6 2020.
She was also among the three judges, out of five, who ruled that Senate President Ahmed Lawan won the Yobe North senatorial ticket for the APC.
10. Ibrahim Mohammed Musa Saulawa
Ibrahim Mohammed Musa Saulawa rose to become a justice of the Supreme Court on November 10, 2020.
Before then, he had served as a chief registrar of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, Lagos, between 1991 and 1994, and then a High Court judge, Katsina State Judiciary (1994 – 2006).
Saulawa was elevated to the Bench of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria on June 10, 2006.
11. Adamu Jauro
Adamu Jauro was among the eight justices elevated to the Supreme Court in 2020.
He was among the two justices who disagreed with three others that declared the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, winner of the Yobe North senatorial ticket for the APC.
12. Emmanuel A. Agim
Emmanuel A. Agim was elevated to the Supreme Court in 2020.
Before then, he had served as a former Chief Justice of The Gambia and Justice of the Supreme Court of Swaziland.
13. Tijjani Abubakar
Tijjani Abubakar was among the eight justices promoted to Supreme Court in 2020 by the Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC).
Atiku reveals how INEC allegedly deducted his votes to ensure Tinubu win
Meanwhile, the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku, has accused INEC of deducting his votes to facilitate Tinubu's victory.
The former vice president also accused INEC of "allocating" votes to the APC presidential candidate who was declared the winner of the election.
His accusations were contained in a petition filed on Tuesday, March 21, at the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja.
2023 presidential election: Peter Obi files petition
Also, Peter Obi, the candidate of the Labour Party, has formally submitted a petition to the Presidential Election Tribunal challenging the process leading to the outcome of the Saturday, February 25 presidential election.
This was on Tuesday, March 21, by the chief spokesman of the Obi-Datti presidential campaign council, Yunusa Tanko.
“It is official the Labor Party Presidential candidate Peter OBI has filed his petition to the presidential elections tribunal in Abuja. The process of reclaiming the people’s mandate has started," Tanko said.