Nigeria court upholds Yar'Adua electoral victory

ABUJA, Feb 26, 2008 (AFP) - A Nigerian court Tuesday upheld the April 2007 election of Umaru Yar'Adua as Nigeria's president.

"Since the two consolidated petitions have failed, Umaru Yar'Adua and Goodluck Jonathan remain validly elected as president and vice president of Nigeria," presiding judge James Ogebe ruled.

ABUJA (AFP) - A special tribunal Tuesday dismissed one out of two petitions seeking to overturn the April 2007 election of Umaru Yar'Adua as Nigeria's president on the grounds of electoral malpractice.

The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Abuja, dismissed the case brought by former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, one of the two opposition politicians who lost to Yar'Adua in the presidential poll.

"The petitioner (Buhari) has in this case established substantially the non-compliance with the electoral act but has failed to establish the substantiality (effect) of the non-compliance on the results," James Ogebe, presiding a panel of five judges, ruled.

"This issue is therefore resolved in favour of the respondent (Yar'Adua)," Ogebe said, adding that Buhari's petition is "hereby dismissed".

By early afternoon the court had not yet started its ruling on the second petition, brought by Atiku Abubakar, a former vice-president.

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