INEC Tells Court to Dismiss Petition Filed by LP and its Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi
By Mukhtar Tijjani
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 President-Elect.
They also claimed that Tinubu’s running mate and Vice-President-Elect, Kashim Shettima had a double nomination in contravention of the Electoral Act 2022.
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 by INEC, the commission said the reliefs sought by Obi and his party are not grantable.
The commission prayed the court to either dismiss or strike out the petition for being grossly incompetent, abusive, vague, non-specific, ambiguous, and academic.
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, having not polled majority of the lawful votes cast at the election and 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.