ANALYSIS: What Next for Atiku if He Loses at Supreme Court?

ANALYSIS: What Next for Atiku if He Loses at Supreme Court?

FCT, Abuja - Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (Waziri Adamawa) is 76 and will be 80 by the next general election. The oldest person to assume the presidency was Muhammadu Buhari who was inaugurated at age 72.

Atiku has contested unsuccessfully for President of Nigeria six times: in 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019, and 2023.

Atiku/Atiku news/Supreme Court
Atiku Abubakar and other PDP leaders lead a protest in Abuja to INEC's office in March 2023. Photo credit: Olukayode Jaiyeola
Source: Getty Images

Atiku's case at Supreme Court

He is a former vice-president of Nigeria, and a top member of the country's main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Following the loss at the Presidential Election Petition Council (PEPC), Atiku said he would appeal the judgement at the Supreme Court.

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Already, he has filed 35 grounds of appeal against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

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He told the apex court that the verdict of the Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel of the PEPC which dismissed his petition against the outcome of the presidential contest, was not only perverse but occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice against him.

Supreme Court: Final arbiter of justice

In Nigeria, the judgement of the Supreme Court is final. The court is the highest tribunal in the nation for all cases and controversies arising under the constitution or the laws of the country.

As the final arbiter of the law, the court is charged with ensuring the Nigerian people are served justice. Now, if the Supreme Court disappoints Atiku, what are the options left for him? examines.

Atiku could retire from active politics

Atiku has contested for the presidency on the platform of the two main political parties, the PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC), and has never won.

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If he loses at the Supreme Court, he might quit pursuing the presidency.

Although he told Kashim Shettima, the vice-president that he is not retiring, successive failures might compel the Adamawa-born politician to retire.

Atiku does not have age on his side again. Also, being in the opposition for over eight years would not help his chances in 2027, especially as the ruling APC is cementing its grip on northern provinces.

The 2023 election was very crucial for Atiku, but he allowed Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) to ruin his chances in the South East, South-South, and North Central geopolitical zones.

Atiku facing bleak future after 2023 election

The only way Atiku can make a quick political comeback is if he succeeds in his challenge of the victory of President Tinubu in court.

Anything short of that may end his political career spanning over three decades and his long quest to become Nigeria’s president completely eclipsed.

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Other things being equal, by the time Tinubu would have completed his tenure, Atiku may just be somewhere outside the country or within tending to his chain of businesses with politics no longer on the card for him.

Atiku could transition to elder statesman

Like his former boss, Olusegun Obasanjo; and ex-leader, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Atiku could transition into an elder statement role. 'To serve Nigeria is not by force'.

It is traditional and right for young ones to seek counsel and guidance from the elders to benefit from their wealth of experience, hence, Atiku can join the league of the Obasanjos, Edwin Clarks, and Ibrahim Babangidas of this world.

Obi's case at Supreme Court

In a related article, analysed Obi's options in the event he loses at the Supreme Court.

Obi, a former governor of Anambra state, has a considerable number of social media supporters — 'Obidients', as they are known.

The LP candidate has filed 51 grounds of appeal before the Supreme Court seeking the nullification of the verdict of the trial court concerning the election of President Tinubu.


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