Tuesday, October 3, 2023
Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Court dismisses LP, Peter Obi’s petition against Tinubu, says it lacked merit 

by admin
Court dismisses LP, Peter Obi’s petition against Tinubu, says it lacked merit 

Peter Obi

The presidential election tribunal has struck out the petition filed by Mr Peter Obi and the Labour Party against the election of President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima. 

Justice Haruna Tsammani, who led the five-member panel of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) dismissed the petition on the grounds that it lacked merit, adding that the petitioners failed to prove allegations made against the election. 

Case against Tinubu 

Obi and his party had in their joint petition filed in March this year claimed that Tinubu did not win the majority of votes cast in the February 25 presidential election. 

In addition, they alleged that the electoral umpire did not comply with the laws in the conduct as well as the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the presidential poll. 

Besides, Obi and LP had claimed Tinubu should not have contested the presidential election because of the alleged unlawful nomination of his Vice President, and the alleged forfeiture order against him by a US court in the 1990s. 

Petitioners also faulted INEC’s declaration of Tinubu as the winner having not scored 25% of the lawful votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). 

Labour Party, Obi failed to prove case 

However, delivering judgment in the petition on Wednesday, Justice Tsammani held that the petitioners failed to prove allegations of irregularities, non-compliance as well and corrupt practices made in the election. 

The court ruled that the petitioners failed to establish their allegations of over-voting and voter suppression. 

Justice Tsammani said some paragraphs relating to these claims had been struck out earlier due to their vague and generic nature. 

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

The law simply empowers INEC to decide the means of collation of results of elections, the court argued. 

The court added that the only device that must be used by INEC for elections is the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) 

It noted that there’s no regulation showing BVAS must be used to electronically transmit results from polling units. 

According to the PEPC, INEC regulations and the Electoral Act give room for manual collation of results. It said electronic transmission is optional at best. 

The PEPC ruled that Obi failed to establish that INEC intentionally refused to quickly upload polling unit results to IReV so as to alter the results in Tinubu’s favour. 

 Having resolved all three issues in favour of the respondents, the Tribunal struck out the Labour Party’s petitions against Tinubu’s win in the presidential election for lack of merit. 

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Chike Olisah

Chike Olisah

Chike was a banker with over 11 years experience in retail and commercial banking, risk management, treasury portfolio management and relationship management.

He also acquired some experience in financial management and do have some special interest in investment analysis and personal finance. He had stints with financial institutions like the former Intercontinental Bank and Fidelity Bank.

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