The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has urged the Supreme Court to declare that the Presidential Election Petition Court’s five
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has urged the Supreme Court to declare that the Presidential Election Petition Court’s five-man panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani erred in law when it dismissed his evidence allegedly showing he won the February 25 polls with about 8.7 million votes.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC declared on March 1 that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Tinubu, polled 8,794,726 votes while Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and Obi scored 6,984,520 and 6,101,533 votes, respectively.
Obi then petitioned the PEPC for redress while presenting, among over ten witnesses, a professor of Mathematics at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra, Eric Uwaduegwu Ofoedu who submitted his expert report on the election.
The professor had told the panel that 18,088 polling unit results uploaded by INEC staff to the INEC Results Viewing Portal were blurred and allegedly shortchanged Obi’s score by
additional 2,565,269 accredited votes, aside the issue of overvoting.
According to the prof, overvoting checks on the 2023 presidential election showed that 4,457 polling units with a total of 2,317,129 PVCs collected were affected, adding that the figure exceeds the margin of lead of 1,807, 206 votes over the first runner declared by INEC, that is, Atiku Abubakar.
“From IREV portal, 18,088 polling units results were blurred. This number of PUs negatively impacted the votes of 2,565,269 accredited voters and 9,165,191 voters that collected their PVCS,” the witness had claimed.
But the panel, agreeing with the legal team of INEC and Tinubu, in its unanimous decision, dismissed Obi’s entire petition, holding particularly that the expert witness(es) from the Labour Party failed to specify the polling units in dispute as well as provide the copies of polling unit results given to LP agents as required by law.
The panel said the IREV portal was merely for public view and not a collation system.
Dissatisfied, Obi’s legal team led by Livy Uzoukwu SAN filed 51 grounds of appeal before the Apex court of the land.
Among other contentions, they said the panel refused to rely on the evidence of 18, 088 blurred polling units results uploaded by INEC staff to its public viewing portal.
Moreso, they maintained that the blurred results formed part of the certified copies issued to them by the electoral umpire, adding that the PEPC judgment affirming Tinubu’s election should be nullified for non-compliance to the Electoral Act and corrupt practices.
The appeal partly read, “Take notice that the Appellants being dissatisfied with the decisions in PETITION NO: CA/PEPC/03/2023 MR. PETER GREGORY OBI & ANOR. v. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION & ORS. (consolidated with Election Petition Nos: CA/PEPC/04/2023 and CA/PEPC/05/2023), contained in pages 3-327 of the Judgment of the Court of Appeal sitting as the Presidential Election Petition Court, Holden at Abuja, Coram: H. S. Tsammani, Stephen Jonah Adah, Misitura Omodere Bolaji-Yusuff, Boloukuroma Moses Ugo and Abba Bello Mohammed, JJ.C.A. (“the Court below”) delivered on the 6th day of September 2023, and more particularly stated in paragraph 2 of this Notice of Appeal, do hereby appeal to the Supreme Court on the Grounds set out in Paragraph 3 and will at the hearing of the appeal seek the Reliefs sought in paragraph 4 herein.”
A date will be fixed by the apex court for hearing of the appeal.