APC tells election tribunal to dismiss Obi, Labour Party’s petition

APC tells election tribunal to dismiss Obi, Labour Party’s petition

Nigerian President-Elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has requested that the Labour Party (LP) and it’s Presidential candidate,Peter Obi’s petition against Bola Tinubu’s election as the winner of the 25 February election be dismissed by the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Abuja.

The APC, the 4th respondent, urged the PEPC to reject the petition in its notice of preliminary objection marked: CA/PEPC/03/2023 and filed at PEPC’s Secretariat, Monday night, by Thomas Ojo, a member of the party’s legal team led by Lateef Fagbemi in Nigeria’s capital.

The ruling party demanded the tribunal to dismiss the petition with substantial cost on the grounds that it lacked merit and was frivolous.

Mr Obi, the 1st petitioner, and LP, the 2nd petitioner, had sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr Tinubu, Kashim Shettima and APC as 1st to 4th respondents respectively.

The petitioners are seeking the nullification of the election victory of Messrs Tinubu and Shettima in the 25 February presidential poll.

Among other prayers, the petitioners urged the tribunal to “determine that, at the time of the presidential election held on February 25, 2023, the 2nd and 3rd respondents (Tinubu and Shettima) were not qualified to contest the election.

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The APC responded by requesting that the lawsuit be dismissed on the grounds that Mr. Obi, the first petitioner, lacked the necessary “locus standi” to file the petition because he was not a member of LP at least 30 days prior to the party’s presidential primary to be legitimately sponsored by the party.

The APC argued that “by the mandatory provisions of Section 77 (1) (2) and (3) of the Electoral Act 2022, a political party shall maintain a register and shall make such register available to INEC not later than 30 days before the date fixed for the party primaries, congresses and convention.”

“By Paragraph 17 of the petition, the petitioners, on their own, stated that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar came second in the presidential election with 6,984,520 votes as against the petitioners who came third with 6,101,533 votes;

“At Paragraph 102 (ii) of the petition, the petitioners urged the tribunal to determine that 1st petitioner scored the majority of lawful votes without joining Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the petition.

“For the tribunal to grant prayer (iii) of the petitioners, the tribunal must have set aside the scores and election of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

“Alhaji Atiku Abubakar must be heard before his votes can be discountenanced by the tribunal,” it said.

“Paragraphs 59-60 of the petition disclose no identity or particulars of scores and polling units supplied in 18,088 units mentioned therein,” it added.

The ruling party then urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition with significant penalties because it was frivolous and without merit.

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