Peter Obi’s petition against Tinubu is incompetent, INEC tells court


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has
asked the presidential election petition tribunal to dismiss a petition filed
by the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi.


Obi and the LP filed a petition challenging the victory of
Bola Tinubu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the


In the petition marked CA/PEPC/03/2023 Livy Ozoukwu, lead
counsel to LP and its presidential candidate, contended that Tinubu “was not
duly elected by the majority of the lawful votes cast at the time of the


They also claimed that Shettima had a double nomination in
contravention of the electoral act.


The petitioners asserted that the election was marred by
rigging and manipulations adding that the INEC violated its own regulations
when it announced the results when at the time of the announcement, the total
polling unit results had yet to be fully scanned, uploaded, and transmitted electronically
as required by the electoral act.


In a response filed on Monday night, INEC, through its
lawyer, Abubakar Mahmoud, said the reliefs sought by Obi and his party are not


The commission prayed the court to either “dismiss or strike
out the petition for being grossly incompetent, abusive, vague, nebulous,
generic, general, non-specific, ambiguous, equivocal, hypothetical and


INEC argued that the grounds of the petition are vague.


The commission further discredited the petitioners over the
claim that Tinubu was not elected by the majority of lawful votes cast.


The electoral body argued that the petitioners’ prayer to
declare that Obi scored the majority of lawful votes cast at the election and
be declared winner was defective for failure to join necessary parties and for
lack of requisite particulars and pleading to support same.


The commission said Obi cannot be returned as elected, “not
having polled majority of the lawful votes cast at the election and /or secured
one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of
all states in the federation and the FCT”.


On the issue of non-representation, INEC said the
petitioners did not have polling agents in all the polling units across Nigeria
as they only submitted a list of 134, 874 polling agents which are 41, 972
short of the 176, 846 polling units across Nigeria.


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