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Tribunal rules that Peter Obi’s petition against Tinubu is unmeritorious

By James Agberebi
06 September 2023   |   5:18 pm
The Presidential Election Petitions Court on Wednesday described the petitions of the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, as “unmeritorious”. Obi and Labour Party claimed that President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was not duly elected during the February 25, 2023 poll. On the contention by LP that Tinubu…

Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi (C) talks to the media at his house in Amatutu on February 25, 2023, before polls open during Nigeria’s presidential and general election. (Photo by Patrick Meinhardt / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK MEINHARDT/AFP via Getty Images)

The Presidential Election Petitions Court on Wednesday described the petitions of the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, as “unmeritorious”.

Obi and Labour Party claimed that President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was not duly elected during the February 25, 2023 poll.

On the contention by LP that Tinubu ought not to be declared winner of the election because he scored less than 25 per cent votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast, the Tribunal held that the argument is “ridiculous”.

The five-man panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani considered the directive of state policy and the preamble of the constitution that provides for the equality of citizens and held that by the provisions of Section 134 (2a) of the constitution, and without any form of equivocation, “scoring 25 percent in the FCT in a presidential election is not mandatory and this issue was also resolved against the petitioner and in favour of the respondent”.

The court subsequently declared LP’s petition clearly unmeritorious.

Earlier, the Tribunal said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has the liberty to define means of transmitting elections results.

The court stated this while giving verdict on the issue of substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the law, especially with regard to non-transmission of result sheets to INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV).

According to the court there is no law that says INEC must transfer or transmit the results of the election from the polling units electronically.

The court argued that the law simply empowers electoral body to decide the means of collation of results of elections.

Meanwhile, the court ruled that the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, failed to prove that President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was convicted for money laundering in the United States.

The five-man panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani ruled that no record of criminal arrest or conviction was established against Tinubu by the petitioners.

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