By Princess-Ekwi Ajide, Abuja
September 7(Newshour.com.ng) – The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, PEPT, on Wednesday ruled that the petition of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi was vague, incompetent, inconsistent, nebulous and self contradictory.
The Tribunal in a ruling delivered by Justice Abba Mohammed, said Obi’s petition raised several general allegations of malpractices, irregularities, corruption without being specific as required by law, hence it struck out several paragraphs of the petition for being vague or self contradictory.
According to the Tribunal, Obi claimed to have scored the highest number of lawful votes in the February 25 presidential election, but failed completely to state or specify the number of the lawful votes he had won.
The Tribunal held that Obi claimed there were rigging and mass irregularities, yet, out of 176, 866 polling units across 774 LGAs in Nigeria, LP and PDP could not show a single polling unit where such rigging occurred.
Justice Mohammed went further to say that the Labour Party’s presidential candidate produced reports of forensic experts but failed to file the report along with the petition or serve same on the respondents in the petition.
The Tribunal also held that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC is independent and as such not bound by any law to transmit election results electronically so, can choose the method of transmission of results.
Ruling on the allegations of corrupt practices, against President Tinubu, Justice Mohammed, stated that the Nigeria Police had sought clarification from U.S sometime ago and there was no case against him especially as he had travelled to the United States severally.
Justice Mohammed, also said Obi’s claim that his votes were suppressed in favour of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was vague because he failed to give out any figure of votes to establish the claim.
The Tribunal also held that Obi’s allegations that votes credited to Tinubu were inflated was untenable because he never mentioned the number of the votes supposedly dashed to Tinubu.
Following the judgment by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has assured Nigerians of his renewed and energized focus on delivering his vision of a unified, peaceful and prosperous nation.
President Tinubu, who welcomed the judgment of the Tribubal with an intense sense of solemn responsibility and preparedness to serve all Nigerians, irrespective of all diverse political persuasions, faiths, and tribal identities recognizes the diligence, undaunted thoroughness, and professionalism of the five-member bench, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani in interpreting the law.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President, on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, quoted the President to have affirmed that his commitment to the rule of law, and the unhindered discharge of duties by the Tribunal, as witnessed in the panel’s exclusive respect for the merits of the petitions brought forward, further reflects the continuing maturation of Nigeria’s legal system, and the advancement of Africa’s largest democracy at a time when democratic system of government is under test in other parts of the continent.
It said the President believes the Presidential Candidates and Political Parties that have lawfully exercised their rights by participating in the 2023 general elections and the judicial process, which followed, have affirmed Nigeria’s democratic credentials.
He urged those he termed his valiant challengers to inspire their supporters in the trust that the spirit of patriotism will now and forever be elevated above partisan considerations, manifesting into support for Government to improve the livelihood of all Nigerians.
President Tinubu once again, thanked Nigerians for the mandate given him to serve the country while promising to meet and exceed their expectations, by the grace of God Almighty, and through very diligent hard work with the team that has been put in place for that sole purpose.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party have rejected the verdict of the presidential election petitions tribunal.
In a statement issued on Wednesday night, Debo Ologunagba, PDP spokesperson, said the party “unequivocally” rejects the judgment in “its entirety” and will have a “comprehensive review” of the judgment and decide on the next line of action within the ambit of the law.
On their part, Obiora Ifoh, national publicity secretary of the Labour Party, said in a statement that justice was not served in the judgement, adding that it did not reflect the law and desires of the people.
“The Labour Party watched with dismay and trepidation the dismissal of petitions by the five-man panel of the Presidential Election Petition Court led by Justice Haruna Tsammani today and we reject the outcome of the judgment in its entirety because justice was not served and it did not reflect the law and the desire of the people,” the statement reads.
“Nigerians were witnesses to the electoral robbery that took place on February 25, 2023, which was globally condemned but the Tribunal in its wisdom refused to accept the obvious.
“What is at stake is democracy and we will not relent until the people’s will prevail….”