The Presidential Election Petition Court sitting in Abuja, has dismissed the allegation by the Labour Party, LP, and its candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, that the 2023 presidential election was rigged in favour of President Bola Tinubu.
The court, in its preliminary ruling that was delivered by Justice Abba Mohammed, held that Obi and the LP, did not by way of credible evidence, establish their allegation that the election that was held on February 25, was characterized by manifest corrupt practices.
- The five-man panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani had ruled that no record of criminal arrest or conviction was established against Tinubu by the petitioners.
He also declared that the Federal Capital Territory does not hold a higher status than other states in the country.
According to him, Section 134 1 and 2 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) stipulates that a presidential candidate must attain or score a majority of votes cast in a presidential election, where two or more candidates are involved, and at least 25% in two-thirds of the 36 States and FCT to meet the constitutional requirement to be declared as duly elected as President of Nigeria.
Justice Tsamani affirmed the Independent National Electoral Commission’s discretion to determine the mode of election result transmission for the presidential election held on February 25, 2023.
The Tribunal dismissed the petition filed by the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, which sought to annul the victory of President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress based on the alleged “failure” of INEC’s Results Viewing Portal to electronically upload election results in real-time.
The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal said it rejected 10 out of 13 witnesses presented by the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.
Tsammani said Obi called 13 witnesses, who testified as PW1 to PW13, noting that of the 13 witnesses, only three witnesses whose statements are on oath, were filed along with the petition.
The remaining 10 witnesses, the Justice said, were subpoenaed and their witness statements on oath were only filed after the hearing started.
The Tribunal struck out about 17 paragraphs from the petition brought before it by Peter Obi and the Labour Party.
The court struck out the paragraphs for containing “vague and generic allegations”. In the lead judgement, the Court held that the petitioners failed to show which polling units the malpractices occurred; the number of votes affected; and their polling unit agents who reported the alleged irregularities, and malpractices, among others.