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Nigeria's Buhari wins presidential vote, PDP vows to appeal result

President Muhammadu Buhari has been voted in for a second term of four years
President Muhammadu Buhari has been voted in for a second term of four years REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo

Nigeria’s Muhuammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, has come out a winner in the presidential elections. However, his adversary, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party has vowed to appeal the results in court.

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Updated at 16:40 GMT +1

Results were officially posted on the twitter feed of the Independent National Electoral Commissio (INEC), just before midnight.

A few hours later, the head of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, officially declared Buhari to be the winner of this year’s presidential poll.

Buhari came in a winner with 15,191,847 votes in 19 out of 36 states, with Atiku coming in with 11,262,978 votes.

The head of the PDP, following through on his initial vow to appeal the result if it was in favour of Buhari, wrote under the statement of INEC “We will meet in court. Justice Must Prevail.”

Atiku also wrote "I want to assure my supporters and the entire Nigerian people that together, we will not allow democracy to be emasculated."

Segun Sowunmi, one of the spokespersons for the PDP told RFI  that Atiku made such a comment because "when the wishes of the people seem not to be respected...when the process that served is now clouded in such that people begin to wonder  where those figures are coming from....when the electoral management appear to be in cahoots with the ruling party...obviously that is an emasculation of the democractic principles".

Appealing the results

Under the electoral act of 2010 , (paragraph 134), a petition to appeal the result must be filed within 21 days after the date of declaration of results of the elections.

An election tribunal must deliver its judgment in writing within 180 days from the date the petition was filed.

An appeal to that decision can be made, but only within 90 days from the date of the first judgment.

Voting problems

The voting process itself, although delayed by a week for logistical reasons, was considered by observers to be comparatively smoother and more peaceful than previous elections.

However, there were incidents of vote-buying, from both major parties, the PDP and the APC as indicated by one election observer to RFI.

While not a new phenomenon in elections, Abiodun Ajijola, the national coordinator of Election Monitor, a local observer, adds that the difference “with what we saw in this one, from what we’ve seen in previous elections, is that it was concealed, in that most of the money was not shared anywhere near the polling unit”.

Ballot box snatching was also an issue, with boxes have been destroyed at the polling station in certain areas by thugs, such as in Lagos, noted Ajijola.

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