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No, Nigerian election tribunal did not fine Labour Party and others for ‘frivolous’ petition against Tinubu’s presidential election win

IN SHORT: Some Facebook users claim that major Nigerian political parties have been fined for bringing a weak petition to the election court. But there is no mention of such a fine in the court’s final judgement.

A Facebook user claims that the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, or PEPT, has fined three political parties for “filing frivolous petitions”.

The post, dated 7 September 2023, reads: “PEPT fined three political parties for filing frivolous petitions: APM: N13,675,890.00 only LP: 47, 910, 431.87 only PDP: 23, 391,001.45 only.”

The Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM), Labour Party (LP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) approached the PEPT to challenge Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February 2023 presidential election.

In September, the PEPT dismissed the parties’ case, affirming the election of  Tinubu as president. 

The post has attracted over 100 comments. One reads: “This is the judgement that concerns me most, even though I was expecting tougher fine on both Atiku, Obi and their Lawyers.”

Similar claims have been made here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.  

But were the petitioners fined by the PEPT? We checked.

False post about frivolous petitions

No news of fine

The legal battles following the election were all over the news, both locally and internationally. A development of this magnitude would’ve also been covered widely, but we couldn’t find any reports on it from credible sources. 

Africa Check also scanned through the over 700 pages of the final judgement document to check if such a fine was mentioned by the judge. But we found nothing.

Part of the final judgement reads: “Having considered and decided that the three petitions Nos: CA/PEPC/03/2023, CA/PEPC/04/2023 and CA/PEPC/05/2023 are all devoid of merit, the three petitions are hereby dismissed. Accordingly, I affirm the declaration and return of Bola Ahmed Tinubu by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the duly elected president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

There is also no mention of such a fine against the three political parties in the televised version of the verdict.

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