APC’s Bola Ahmed Tinubu, says Peter Gregory Obi is not qualified to run for president under the Labour Party platform.
He adopted this plank to knock off the six-point petition against his INEC declaration as winner of 2023 presidential elections.
Mr. Tinubu filed a Notice of Objection yesterday to stop the court from hearing Mr. Obi’s petition.
In the notice, he argued that Mr. Obi’s petition is not only “incompetent and lacking in merit” but that the Tribunal does not also have powers to entertain it in the first place.
Tinubu and his party content that in fielding Obi, the Labour Party did “not present a valid candidate for that election. Consequently, the Labour Party does not have locus standi to initiate a suit against the outcome of the election.”
Obi, according to the APC, was still a member of the PDP at the time he was sponsored by the Labour Party.
“(He) resigned his membership of the PDP on 26 May 2022 and joined the Labour Party the following day being 27 May 2022.
“(Labour Party) conducted its Presidential Primary on 30 May 2022 which produced (Obi) as the candidate it intended to sponsor in the General Election
“By section 77(3) of the Electoral Act, 2022, (LP) is mandated to submit its comprehensive register of members to the (INEC) 30 days before its presidential primary. That is to say, the said register of members must have been submitted to (INEC) on or before 30 April 2022.
“(Mr. Obi) as of 30 April 2022 was still a member of the PDP and his name was not and could not have been in the register of members submitted by (LP) to (INEC)”.
On the petition itself, below is a graphic presentation of Mr. Obi’s claims and the counter-claims from the APC, Alhaji Tinubu, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC):
|PETER GREGORY OBI/DATTI BABA-AHMED PETITION||AHMED BOLA TINUBU/KASHIM SHETTIMA/APC/INEC DEFENCE|
|– INEC refused to upload and transmit result of the election in the polling units to the IReV as required by law on the day of the election and used this to suppress Obi’s actual scores.In 18,088 Polling Units |
– INEC uploaded unreadable and blurred Forms EC8As on the IReV; to suppress lawful scores obtained by Obi.
– “At the trial, Obi promised to present spreadsheet containing Codes and details of the 18,088 Polling Units and their authentic results.
|– The charges of non-compliance with the electoral law and INEC guidelines were vague. |
– Obi did not identify particulars of scores and polling units supplied in 18,088 units mentioned in his petition;
– It will be difficult to prove infractions without concrete proof in one’s petition.
|– The nomination of Kashim Shettima as vice presidential candidate was defective.|
– Shettima did not withdraw from his nomination as a senatorial candidate of his party before accepting to serve as vice presidential candidate of Mr. Tinubu.
– The Vice Presidential Candidate was concurrently holding his party’s ticket as Senatorial Candidate which violates the law.
– It is unlawful to hold double nomination in an election and this calls for disqualification of the ticket. APC should be disqualified for fielding an ineligible candidate.
|– Issues of qualification, nomination and sponsorship of candidates for an election are pre-election matters that cannot be raised or canvased before an election tribunal.|
– Issue is now statute barred having not been filed within the time provided by law.
– Court of Appeal has already determined validity of Shettima’s nomination in case No. CA/ABJ/ CS/108/2023 decided on 24 March 2023.
|Tinubu “at the time of the election was not qualified to contest for election to the office of President as he was fined the sum of $460,000.00 (Four-Hundred and Sixty Thousand United States Dollars) for an offence involving dishonesty, namely narcotics trafficking imposed by the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, in Case No: 93C 4483.||– The facts pleaded alleging conviction in 1993 cannot be pleaded as facts to support the grounds of disqualification.|
– Similar issue is pending before the Federal High Court in FHC/ ABJ/CS/206/2023 between Peoples Democratic Party and Code Of Conduct Tribunal.
– It is therefore an abuse of court process to raise the same matter in the Tribunal
|– Tinubu did not satisfy the legal and constitutional requirements to be declared president because he did not win the required number of votes. |
– In particular, he failed to win the mandatory quarter of the votes cast in the FCT as required by the Constitution.
|(FROM INEC) |
– FCT has no special constitutional status over and above the other 36 states of the Federation.
– A candidate therefore does not require to win 25% of the FCT to be declared president if he scored 25% in more than two-thirds of the 36 states.
|– INEC did not comply with extant laws as well as the regulations it issued to manage the election. |
– In particular, the non-use of electronic devices and failure to upload results as mandated by law challenges the integrity of the votes cast and renders the result invalid.
|(FROM INEC) |
– INEC says it conducted the polls in strict compliance with the Constitution and Electoral Act.
|Counter reply awaited||Peter Obi has no legal authority to bring a suit since he should not have been a party at the election, Obi breached the law by not joining LP at least 30 days to the party’s presidential primary,He is therefore not validly sponsored by the party to be a candidate and consequently has no locus standi to bring a case against Tinubu, a validly nominated candidate.|
|Counter reply awaited||Obi’s Petition is defective because it did not join Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who was placed ahead of him in the INEC declaration of the results. The only way the Court can grant Obi’s request is to also discount the votes of Atiku Abubakar, and the court cannot do so without hearing from Abubakar|
Obi not qualified to run for president, says Tinubu