The Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPC) has ruled that the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, failed to prove their case against President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The court which had earlier thrown out the petition of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) against the All Progressives Congress (APC) Vice Presidential candidate and current Vice President, Kashim Shettima, for being incompetent, is now dealing with the petition of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
On the labour party case, the five-man panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani first ruled that Obi failed to prove that he won the election and was denied victory by failure by INEC to substantially abide by the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Next, the tribunal dismissed Obi’s petition to disqualify Tinubu due to his payment of a fine to avoid trial for drug trafficking in the United States of America. It said the fine was in respect of a civil matter and that there was no record of criminal arrest or conviction established against Tinubu by the petitioners.
The tribunal similarly dismissed LP/Obi’s petition on 25 per cent of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) votes needed to win the presidential election.
According to the court, FCT residents have no special privileges as the petitioners claimed.
The court equally rejected the reports of forensic analyses tendered by LP’s three witnesses. According to the court, they were either made during the pendency of the case or by an interested party.
This is as it rejected the European Union report on the polls, arguing that it was not tendered by an official of the body.
On INEC’s failure to transmit election results electronically, the court ruled that INEC was at liberty to define the mode of transmitting election results.
Earlier, the tribunal had dismissed the petition by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and its presidential candidate, Princess ChiChi Ojei, challenging the outcome of the February 25 election.
Ojei, who polled about 25,000 votes during the election had sought the cancellation of the declaration of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
However, in its ruling, the five-member panel headed by Haruna Tsammani declared the petition “incompetent” and “had no merit” and dismissed it.
After dealing with Obi’s petition, the tribunal is now ruling on the petition by Atiku Abubakar and the PDP.
INEC had declared Tinubu the winner of the election with 8.8 million votes. Atiku polled a total of 6,984,520 votes in the election to come second, while Obi came behind Atiku with a total of 6,101,533 votes, according to INEC.
A total of 18 candidates contested the election, which turned out to be a three-horse race
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