Peter Obi the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) and Atiku Abubakar of the peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the judgment of the presidential Election Petition Tribunal, asserting the election of Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Party (APC), and has asked their lawyers to go on appeal at the supreme court.
The Legal Adviser to the Labour Party, Kehinde Edun, has agreed to challenge the judgment at the Supreme Court, even also Atiku’s Lead Counsel, Chris Uche (SAN), said that he had received instructions from his client to file an appeal at the Supreme Court.
“The judgment has been delivered but we have not received justice. Luckily, the law has given us leverage to go on appeal to the Supreme Court. “We have instructions from our clients to go to the Supreme Court. The struggle continues.”
The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) which began sitting at 9.40 a.m. at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, yesterday, September 6, ruled that the petition filed by Atiku and Obi and their parties had no merit and unanimously upheld Tinubu’s electoral victory in the February 25 presidential election.
The Tribunal said that the petitioners were unable to state the figures they claimed were reduced from the election results they garnered in different states of the federation, especially in Ondo, Oyo, Rivers, Yobe, Borno, Tabara, Osun and Lagos States.
It said that the petitioners equally failed to state the polling units where over-voting occurred or the exact figures of unlawful votes that were credited to Tinubu by the INEC.
It stressed that though Obi and LP said they would rely on spreadsheets as well as forensic reports and expert analysis of their expert witnesses, they failed to attach the documents to the petition or serve the same on the respondents as required by the law.
The Tribunal said that though the petition contained serious allegations that bordered on violence, non-voting, suppression of votes, fictitious entry of election results and corrupt practices, Obi and his party, however, failed to give particulars of specific polling units where the incidents took place.
It held that several portions of the petition that contained the allegations were “vague, imprecise, nebulous and bereft of particular materials.”
Therefore, the court struck out paragraphs 9, 60, 61, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 76, 77, 78, 83 and 89 of the petition.
“They failed to state the number of votes affected and the number of people disenfranchised. The determination of the election is about figures,” Justice Mohammed said.
He said: “It is unimaginable that a petitioner will allege widespread rigging in 176,000 polling units, over 8,000 wards, 774 LGAs, 36 states and FCT without stating the specific place where the alleged irregularities occur.
“The law is very clear that where someone alleged irregularities in a particular polling unit, such person must prove the particular irregularities in that polling unit for him to succeed in his petition.
“Labour Party made generic allegations of irregularities and said they would rely on spreadsheets, inspection reports, and forensic analysis but the documents promised by the petitioners were not attached to the petition.”
Obi nomination validated
Nevertheless, the court dismissed the contention of the respondents – Tinubu and the APC- that Obi was not validly nominated by the LP to contest the presidential election.
It noted that the respondents had argued that Obi left the PDP on May 24, 2022, and joined the LP on May 27, 2022.
The respondents in their petition claimed that as of May 30, 2022, Obi was not a valid member of the LP and could not have duly participated in its presidential primary election.
“By the provision of section 52 and section 65 of the Electoral Act, INEC is at liberty to prescribe how results can be transmitted. INEC cannot be compelled to electronically transmit results,” the court held.
The tribunal rejected the European Union Election Observers Missio