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The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) much-anticipated decision has been delivered live on national television.
BizWatch Nigeria recalls that the Labour Party (LP), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Allied Peoples Movement (APM), along with their presidential candidates, had petitioned the tribunal to overturn President Bola Tinubu’s victory as the winner of the 2023 presidential election.
Tinubu had in the February 25, 2023 election secured 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who got 6,984,520, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) who polled 6,101,533 votes.
Labour Party’s (LP) claim is genuine
While stressing an allegation by the respondents that Obi’s petition simply alleged widespread anomalies without providing specifics and polling units.
According to Justice Abba Mohammed, it would be wrong not to indicate where there were anomalies in a presidential election held in 176,866 polling units throughout 774 Local Government Areas.
The petitioners, he claims, just made generic allegations.
“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 if someone charges irregularities in a certain voting unit, that person must prove the specific anomalies in that polling unit before the petition can succeed, according to the Tribunal.
According to the court, the petitioners failed to substantiate the specific voting unit where the election did not take place, nor did they describe specific polling units where there are supposed complainants of irregularities.
“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….”
Tribunal Declares APC’s Petition On Obi’s Membership Incompetent
The Court also ruled that the APC’s petition contesting Obi’s membership in the LP was ineffective. According to Justice Abba, political party membership is an internal matter.
The Tribunal also discussed the non-joinder of Atiku Abubakar, who finished second in the polls, and pondered how Obi & LP’s appeal could be efficiently decided without joining the candidate who finished second in the polls.
Presidential election tribunal dismisses APM’s petition
The petitions filed by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) against President Bola Tinubu and his Vice President, Kashim Shettima, have been dismissed by the Presidential Election Petition Court.
The PEPC dismissed the APM’s case to overturn Tinubu’s election as incompetent.
The court ruled that the grounds brought by the APM in its appeal were pre-election matters that could only be decided by the Federal High Court.
The verdict was read aloud by the panel’s chairman, Justice Haruna Tsammani.
The APM petition against the Independent National Electoral Commission and four others was also dismissed by the tribunal.
INEC, the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, Kashim Shettima, and Kabiru Masari are among the first to fifth respondents.
More details soon.