Obi, LP Lose Case Against Tinubu, INEC, PEPC says They Failed To Prove Case


*Party Rejects Judgment 

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 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.

In its reaction to the judgement,  Labour Party has rejected the judgement by the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).

National Publicity Secretary of the LP, Obiora Ifoh, who stated the party’s position in a press release said, “The Labour Party watched with dismay and trepidation the dismissal of petitions by the five-man panel of the Presidential Election Petition Court led by Justice Haruna Tsammani today and we reject the outcome of the judgment in its entirety because justice was not served and it did not reflect the law and the desire of the people.

The tribunal had earlier 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.

Peter Obi

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 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 winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

However, in its ruling, the five-member panel declared the petition “incompetent” and “had no merit” and dismissed it.

 In the Labour Party’s statement rejecting the judgment, it said “Nigerians were witnesses to the electoral robbery that took place on February 25, 2023, which was globally condemned but the Tribunal in its wisdom refused to accept the obvious.

“What is at stake is democracy and we will not relent until the people will prevail.

“We salute the doggedness of our team of lawyers who fearlessly exposed the wrath in our system. We can only weep for democracy in Nigeria but we refuse to give up on Nigeria.”

Tinubu

The statement noted that details of the party’s position would be presented after consultation with its lawyers when the certified true copy of the judgement is made available to them.

“We urge all lovers of democracy to remain focused and hopeful because a new Nigeria is possible,” the statement further said.

The Issue Of 25% Vote In The FCT

The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) has rested the argument of whether winning 25% in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was necessary in becoming president of Nigeria.

The panel, said the voters in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja are equal to every other voters in the states in Nigeria, hence, Abuja has no special status.

Recall that the Labour Party (LP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidates submitted that winning 25% of the FCT votes, in addition to meeting other requirements, was a necessary requirement of being declared winner in a presidential election.

The PEPC had earlier quashed the case of massive rigging alleged by Obi in favour of Tinubu.


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