The Presidential Election Tribunal is currently deliberating on a petition submitted by Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP). Obi is challenging the victory of President Bola Tinubu, who represented the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the presidential election on February 25, 2023.
Abba Mohammed, one of the five justices serving on the panel, has delivered a ruling on the preliminary objections raised by the respondents concerning Obi’s petition. Justice Mohammed summarized his findings as follows:
- Respondents have raised concerns that Obi’s petition merely alleges widespread irregularities without specifying the particular polling units where these irregularities occurred.
- The petition contends that fictitious election results were uploaded but fails to identify the polling units affected by this malpractice.
- The petition also accuses overvoting and rigging but does not pinpoint the polling units where these activities allegedly transpired.
- Justice Mohammed observed that the petitioners made general allegations without providing specific details.
- The petitioners indicated their intention to rely on spreadsheets, inspection reports, and forensic analysis as evidence during the trial. However, these documents were not attached to the petition or served on the respondents.
- The court also found fault with Obi and the Labour Party for not providing specific details regarding corrupt practices, suppression of votes, entry of fictitious results, and other irregularities in their initial submissions.
- The court dismissed the respondents’ objection regarding Obi’s membership in the Labour Party, stating that only a political party can determine its members, and no external entity can investigate such matters.
- The court rejected the respondents’ objection, claiming that the Labour Party’s petition should have included Atiku Abubakar, who came second in the election. Justice Mohammed explained that a petitioner must not include a candidate who lost the election, like Atiku Abubakar, in their petition. Instead, they are only required to have the winning candidate, the winning political party, and the electoral commission responsible for conducting the election as parties in their petition.
In summary, the Presidential Election Tribunal has assessed various objections raised by the respondents concerning Peter Obi’s petition, highlighting the need for more specific details and documents to support the allegations made in the petition. Also Read: https://legalattorneyblog.com/2023/08/19/tribunal-upholds-election-of-ex-niger-governor/
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