Presidential Election Petition Court dismisses Peter Obi’s case

The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) sitting in Abuja has dismissed the petition filed by Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

The court ruled that the entire petition was based on rhetoric.

Some of the claims made by the petitioners include the nullification of the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the presidential election for failing to score 25 per cent in the FCT; Tinubu’s incompetence to contest the election following his forfeiture case in the United States, the failure of INEC to transmit results to Irev, and some other issues.

Justice Haruna Tsammani, the President of the five-member PEPC, who delivered the judgement of the Court in the hours-long verdict on Wednesday, said the petition lacking in merit.

The court, in dismissing the petition resolved all three grounds on which the Obi/Labour Party’s case was built on and resolved all in favour of President Tinubu and other respondents to the case.

Tsammani held that the petitioners failed to prove the allegations that Tinubu was not qualified to contest the 25 presidential election stressing that the $460,000 forfeiture order of a US court issued against Tinubu about a drug trafficking case in 1993 did not amount to a criminal conviction that could have possibly led to his disqualification from running for the presidency.

The judge also held that the petitioners failed to prove that the election was marred by corrupt practices such as overvoting, suppression of votes, inflation of votes, wrong computation of votes and allegations of votes.

He also ruled that the argument of Labour Party’s lawyers that Tinubu should not be declared winner of the election because he scored less than 25 per cent votes in the FCT is “fallacious and incredibly ridiculous.”

Tsammani said the first object was to consider the directive of state policy and the preamble of the constitution that provides for the equality of citizens. He pointed out that the Supreme Court had previously ruled that FCT should be treated as if it were one of the states of the federation.

It added that if the FCT was to be treated as one of the other states, then “it is not superior or inferior to other states of the federation.”

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