The Presidential Election Tribunal is currently ruling on the petition filed by the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi.
Obi is challenging the victory of President Bola Tinubu, the flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25, 2023 presidential election.
One of the five-member panel of Justices, Abba Mohammed, read the ruling on preliminary objections filed by the respondents against Obi’s petition.
– Mohammed highlights a contention by the respondents that Mr Obi’s petition only alleged widespread irregularities without giving the particulars and in which polling units.
– He says the petition alleged overvoting and rigging without stating in which polling units they took place.
– The petitioners only made generic allegations, Mohammed says.
– The petitioners made generic allegations of irregularities and said they would rely on spreadsheets, inspection reports and forensic analysis filed with the petition during the trial.
– But he says the documents promised by the petitioners were not attached to the petition and served on the respondents.
– Mohammed also says Mr Obi and his Labour Party failed to provide particulars of corrupt practices, suppression of votes, entry of fictitious results and other irregularities in their pleadings.
– The court faults the respondents’ contention challenging Mr Obi’s membership of the Labour Party.
– Mohammed says only a political party can determine who its members are, and that no other person or entity can probe into it.
– The court also faults the respondents’ objection which faulted the Labour Party’s petition on the grounds that it failed to join Atiku Abubakar who came second in the election.
– Mohammed says a petitioner is not under any obligation to join a candidate who lost the election like himself in his petition.
– The judge said a petitioner is only obligated to join the person and the political party who won the election and the commission who conducted the election as parties to his petition.