Tribunal Dismisses Obi’s Petition Against Tinubu’s Victory
The President Election Petition Court in Abuja has dismissed all planks on which Peter Obi of the Labour Party rested his petition challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu.
In the judgement delivered Wednesday, the head of the five-member bench, Haruna Tsammani, held that Mr Obi failed to substantiate the arguments on the issues.
The court has rejected 10 out of the 13 witnesses presented by Mr Obi.
The court has also ruled that the judgement of the US District Court in Northern Illinois ordering the forfeiture of Mr Tinubu’s $460,000 for being connected to proceeds of narcotics does not disqualify Mr Tinubu from participating in the 25 February election.
The court held that the judgement was not given in a criminal case, and the decision does not amount to sentence or conviction as envisaged under the Nigerian constitution.
The court also held that Mr Obi failed to obtain the US authorities’ certificate required for enforcing a foreign court judgement in Nigeria.
Mr Tsammani also ruled that even if the judgement amounted to a criminal conviction, the Nigerian constitution provides, it could only be a basis to disqualify Mr Tinubu from running for the presidency only if it was given within ten years before the election in question.
The court also dismissed Mr Obi’s complaint of non-transmission of result sheets to IReV.
The court held that no law says INEC must mandatorily transfer or transmit the results of the election from the polling units electronically.
Another issue raised by Mr Obi has to do with the allegation of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act in the conduct of the election, citing INEC’s failure to electronically transmit the results of the election.
Mr Tsammani said Mr Obi was “estopped” (prohibited) from raising the issue again after it was resolved by the Federal High Court.
But he also went on to hold that Mr Obi failed to show that there was any law that mandated INEC to transmit the results of the election electronically mandatorily.
He added that the petitioner also failed to show that there was any platform into which INEC ought to transmit the results of the election.
Another issue the court ruled on is the issue of 25 percent of the votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The court added that FCT is not superior to any state and a candidate does not need to win 25% of the total votes in the capital to be declared President.