|Tinubu: Apc Asks Election Tribunal To Dismiss Obi, Lp’S Petition
The petition was frivolous and without substance, thus the APC requested the tribunal to dismiss it with heavy penalties.
On Monday, the All Progressives Congress (APC) requested that the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, withdraw their case to the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Abuja challenging Bola Tinubu’s election as the nation’s 45th president.
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In a notice of preliminary objection signed CA/PEPC/03/2023 and sent to the PEPC Secretariat on Monday night by Thomas Ojo, a member of the party’s legal team in Abuja under the direction of Lateef Fagbemi, the APC, the fourth respondent, requested the PEPC to reject the petition.
The petition was deemed frivolous and without merit, thus the party requested that the tribunal reject it with significant costs.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr. Obi, the first petitioner, and LP, the second petitioner, have filed lawsuits against INEC, Mr. Tinubu, Kashim Shettima, and the APC as the first through fourth respondents, respectively.
The petitioners want the election victories of Messrs. Tinubu and Shettima from the presidential vote on February 25 annulled.
Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president and member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), finished in second place, according to NAN, with 6,984,520 votes. Mr. Obi received 6,101,533 votes, placing third.
The PDP and Atiku are both contesting the election’s results.
In the request Mr. Obi and Livy Ozoukwu, LP’s main attorney, said in a document with the case number CA/PEPC/03/2023 that Mr. Tinubu “was not legitimately elected by majority of the valid votes cast at the time of the election.”
The petitioners claimed that there had been rigging in 11 states, and they pledged to provide evidence when the results were announced based on the uploaded information.
Notwithstanding the fact that at the time of the release, all of the polling unit results had not yet been properly scanned, uploaded, and transferred electronically as required by the Electoral Act, Mr. Obi and LP claimed that INEC broke its own rules when it revealed the results.
The petitioners asked the tribunal, among other things, to “find that, at the time of the presidential election The second and third responders (Tinubu and Shettima) were unable to run in the election, which was conducted on February 25, 2023.
“That it be found that all of the votes cast in the election for the second respondent were ineffective votes since the second and third respondents were disqualified.
“That it be determined that, based on the remaining votes (after discounting the votes credited to the 2nd respondent), the 1st petitioner (Obi) scored a majority of the valid votes cast at the election and had not less than 25% of the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of the states of the federation and the FCT and satisfied the constitutional requirements to be declared the winner of the Feb. the 25th presidential election.
“That it be found that the second respondent (Tinubu) was not entitled to be proclaimed and returned as the winner of the presidential election held on February 25 since he did not get one-quarter of the votes cast at the presidential election in the FCT.”
The APC responded by requesting that the lawsuit be dismissed on the grounds that Mr. Obi, the first petitioner, lacked the necessary “locus standi” to file the petition because he was not a member of the LP at least 30 days prior to the party’s presidential primary in order to be legally sponsored by the party.
The first petitioner (Obi) was a PDP member up till May 24, 2022, it stated.
“The first petitioner was tested as a PDP presidential candidate in First petitioner took part in the presidential election and received approval to run while a PDP member, according to Apni 2022.
“The first petitioner allegedly left the PDP on May 24, 2022, and allegedly joined the second petitioner (the Labour Party) on May 27, 2022.
It was against Section 77(3) of the Electoral Act for him to run in the primary election as a member of the 2nd petitioner on May 30, 2022, when the 2nd petitioner reportedly provided the first petitioner as its candidate.
The party contended that at the time of his purported sponsorship, Obi was not an LP member.
According to the APC, “by virtue of the required provisions of Section 77 (1), (2), and (3) of the Election Act 2022, a political party shall keep a record and shall provide INEC with a copy of said register no later than 30 days before to the date set for the party primaries, congresses, and convention.
It went on to say that on April 29, all of the PDP’s presidential contenders underwent screening. Mr. Obi took part in this process and was given the go-ahead to run while still a party member.
It said that because Mr. Obi’s name could not have been on the LP’s register that was made accessible to INEC at the time of his joining the party, the petition was inadmissible.
The PDP and Atiku Abubakar, who were required parties to be impacted by the remedy sought, were not joined in the suit, according to the APC, which also claimed that the petition was unlawfully constituted.
“According to Petition’s Paragraph 17, The petitioners claimed that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar received 6,984,520 votes, placing him in second place behind the petitioners, who received 6,101,533 votes.
The petitioners sought the tribunal to decide that the first petitioner received the majority of valid votes without including include Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the petition under paragraph 102(ii) of the petition.
“The tribunal must have disregarded the results of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s election in order for the tribunal to approve the petitioners’ request (iii),”
Before the tribunal could disregard Atiku Abubakar’s votes, it stated that Atiku must be heard.
The party claimed that the petition and the cited sentences violated the necessary requirements of Paragraph 4(1)(D) of the first schedule to the Convention. the 2022 Electoral Act.
APC claims that the petition’s paragraphs 60 through 77 are incompetent in violation of paragraph 4(1)(d) of the Ist Schedule to the Election Act of 2022 because they are non-specific, imprecise, and/or unclear.
It stated that the claims of non-compliance had to be articulated clearly and supported by evidence obtained from each individual voting unit, yet none were mentioned or given in any of the petition’s paragraphs.
“No name or particulars of scores and polling units submitted in 18,088 units indicated therein are disclosed in paragraphs 59–60 of the petition,” it said.
As a result, the party said, among other things, that the tribunal lacked the necessary authority to hear the pre-election objections included in the petition as it was written.
The APC requested that the case be dismissed by the tribunal with considerable The same expense as it was frivolous and without any worth.