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UPDATED: Presidential Tribunal Crashes APC Tinubu’s Petition Against Obi

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The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) has dismissed the petition of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging Peter Obi’s membership of Labour Party (LP), declaring it incompetent.

A member of the five-member panel, Justice Abba Mohammed, who is currently reading the lead judgment, said that membership in a political party is an internal affair.

Earlier in his judgement, Justice Mohammed described LP’s claim of widespread irregularities during the February 25, 2023 presidential election as generic.

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While highlighting a claim by the respondents that Obi’s petition only alleged that there were widespread irregularities without giving the particulars and the polling units.

Justice Mohammed held that in a presidential election held in 176,866 polling units in 774 local government areas, it would be improper not to specify where there were irregularities.

According to him, the petitioners only made generic allegations.

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“Pleading must set out material facts and particulars. In the instant petition, there was no effort to prove specific allegations, particulars of complaints,” said the Tribunal.

The law is clear that where someone alleges irregularities in a particular polling unit, such person must prove the particular irregularities in that polling unit before that petition can succeed, the Tribunal added.

The court said the petitioners did not prove the particular polling unit where the election did not take place nor did they specify particulars of polling units where there are alleged complainants of irregularities.

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“It was only in one instance that figures were given of alleged suppressed votes and we all know that elections are about figures,” it said.

“LP alleged that INEC reduced their scores and added it to APC votes but failed to supply particulars of what they actually scored before the said reductions, neither did they supply the polling units where it happened….”

The court had around 12:30 p.m. commenced the delivery of judgment in the petition by Obi and LP challenging the victory of Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the February 25 election.

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Before going on a short break, the tribunal sitting in Abuja 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 headed by Haruna Tsammani declared the petition “incompetent” and “had no merit” and outrightly dismissed it.

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After Obi’s petition, the tribunal is expected to also rule on the petition by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

INEC had declared Tinubu 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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(Source: News Express)

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