The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has today commenced hearing the petitions of aggrieved presidential candidates contesting the outcome of the 2023 presidential election.
We recall that the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Timubu was declared winner of the 2023 presidential polls by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
While Tinubu scored 8,794,726 votes to emerge winner, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) came second with 6,984,520 votes, while the Labour Party’s Peter Obi came third with 6,101,533 votes.
However, in separate petitions, Atiku and Obi have challenged the results of the 2023 general election that produced Tinubu as winner.
Meanwhile, Obi in his petition, jointly filed by him and his party, has INEC, Tinubu, Shettima Kashim, and the APC as the respondents.
Let’s see the five prayers of Obi at the tribunal:
Obi and his party are seeking the nullification of the February 25 presidential election.
According to the, “The Presidential election conducted on 25th February, 2023 is void on the ground that the election was not conducted substantially in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended.”
25% in FCT
The second prayer is the issue of 25% in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). This has continued to stir controversies as INEC has come out to say Tinubu didn’t need 25% in the federal capital territory to be declared winner because he had scored majority and in more than 25% in several states.
However, Obi and Labour Party wants the tribunal to declare “That the 2nd Respondent (Tinubu) having failed to score one-quarter of the votes cast at the Presidential Election in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja was not entitled to be declared and returned as the winner of the presidential election held on 25 February 2023.”
In addition to the election cancellation, the Labour Party and its presidential candidate asked the court to compel INEC to conduct a fresh election.
The petitioners argue that Tinubu should not have been eligible to run for the top office due to his “ineligibility”.
Obi’s lead lawyer, Livy Uzoukwu in his submission, said the president-elect “was not duly elected by majority of the lawful votes cast at the time of the election.”
Also, Obi claimed the APC candidate “was linked to drug trafficking by US court” leading to his eventual forfeiture of the sum of $460,000 to the American government, adding the latter is “not qualified to contest Nigerian presidency.”
Disqualify Tinubu, Shettima from contesting for fresh polls
The Labour Party flag bearer said both Tinubu and his deputy should be disqualified from the fresh polls because they are allegedly not qualified.
Obi and his party in the petition said “The nomination of Kashim Shettima as vice presidential candidate was defective as he did not withdraw from his nomination as a senatorial candidate of his party before accepting to serve as vice presidential candidate of Mr Tinubu”