Obi files petition to presidential election tribunal to reclaim mandate

Obi files petition to presidential election tribunal to reclaim mandate

The presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, has formally filed his petition to the elections tribunal to protest the outcome of the Februar

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The presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, has formally filed his petition to the elections tribunal to protest the outcome of the February 25 poll.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the Chief Spokesperson of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Dr Yunusa Tanko.

The statement read, “It is official. The Labor Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi has filed his petition to the presidential elections tribunal in Abuja. The process of reclaiming the people’s mandate has started.”

Obi’s petition is coming four weeks after the contentious presidential and National Assembly elections that produced the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Although Tanko did not reveal why it took his principal this long to file the petition, a source within the party disclosed that the former governor of Anambra State wanted to properly collate materials to back up his claim of massive rigging, voters intimidation and corruption allegation against the electoral umpire.

“You know Obi doesn’t like talking without getting facts. That’s why he took his time before he officially filed his case at the tribunal,” he said.

Tuesday, being the 21st day since the declaration of the results of the election on 1 March, is the last day he as well as any other aggrieved candidates and political parties have to file their petition in court.

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who announced the final results in the early hours of 1 March in Abuja, said Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) PDP came second in the election.

Atiku polled a total of 6,984,520 votes in the election.

Obi of the Labour Party came third in the election with a total of 6,101,533 votes, while Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP came fourth with 1,496,687 votes.

Setting out the grounds for the petition, Obi’s lead lawyer, Livy Uzoukwu, said Tinubu at the time of the (presidential) election was not qualified to contest the election.

Uzoukwu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), argued that the president-elect was not duly elected by majority of the lawful votes cast at the time of the election.

Among his five prayers, Obi urged the Presidential Election Petition Court to determine that at the time of the presidential election held on 25 February, 2023, Messrs Tinubu and Shettima were not qualified to contest the election.

He prayed the tribunal to determine that all the votes recorded for Tinubu in the election are wasted votes, owing to the non-qualification of the president-elect and Shettima.

“That it be determined 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.

Obi prayed the tribunal to make an order cancelling the election and compelling the 1st respondent (INEC) to conduct a fresh election at which the 2nd Respondent (Tinubu), 3rd respondent (Shettima) and 4th respondent (APC) shall not participate.

Tanko had said last Tuesday that the lawyers of the LP presidential candidate were making progress with their inspection of electoral data after they were granted access to gather some relevant information from the materials supplied.

He made the statement after the legal team met with the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who promised that the commission would give the legal team access to the materials.

At the parley, the head of the legal delegation, Dr Livy Uzoukwu, who led 60 lawyers to the meeting had urged the commission to urgently make the polls materials available as the team was running against the deadline to file its petition against the outcome of the presidential poll.