The legal counsel to President Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima, Wole Olanipekun, has refuted the final written argument presented by Peter Obi and the Labour Party (LP), who are disputing Tinubu’s presidential election victory.
Obi, representing the LP, challenged Tinubu’s win in the February 25 presidential election.
In response, Olanipekun filed a counterargument with the presidential election petition tribunal on Friday, requesting the court dismiss both the original petition and the final written argument from Obi and the LP.
The opposition had claimed that Tinubu was not qualified to run for president because of a $460,000 forfeiture in the US and his failure to secure at least 25 per cent of the votes in the federal capital territory (FCT).
However, in a 14-page retort, Tinubu’s legal team insisted that Obi and the LP had effectively “abandoned” their case in their final written address.
Tinubu’s Legal Team Reacts To Obi’s Final Address.
They called the court to dismiss the opposition’s claims due to this “clear manifestation and display of abandonment of the entire petition”.
Tinubu lawyers said, “Order 22 Rule 5 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019, which applies to the proceedings, mandates that “a written address shall…contain…(c) the issues arising from the evidence for determination.”
“From this simple grammatical provision of the rules, it is clear that the petitioners have not formulated any issue for determination capable of being considered or countenanced by this honourable court; and the court can also not consider their address without problems for the resolution being presented by them.
“Arising from the preceding, this honourable court is urged, as respondents have done in their final address, to dismiss the petition, not only for the reasons and submissions contained in that address but also for the clear manifestation and display of abandonment of the entire petition.”
Tinubu’s lawyers also argued that the US president’s forfeiture did not arise from a conviction.
“That Non-Conviction Based Forfeiture (NCBF) of the type referenced in Exhibit P5 [is] typically the outcome of an in rem action and does not involve trial or conviction for an offence,” the lawyers argued.
The president’s lawyers said Obi and LP did not address the “purported failure of INEC to supply them Form ECSAS in several polling units” and the allegations of “mutilations, cancellations and outright swapping of votes”.
“Throughout their address, this sweeping statement has not been activated by pointing to any specific Form ECSA, which is caught by their alleged vices, or which contains any figure/votes swapped in favour of the 2nd and 4th respondents, against the petitioners; what the figures are, how the said figures have affected their votes, and how the said conjectured figures have aided the votes of the respondents,” the lawyers said.
“With respect, the entire address, like the petition itself, is a fiction.”
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