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INEC urges tribunal to dismiss LP, Obi’s petition challenging Tinubu’s election victory



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has asked the presidential election petition tribunal to dismiss a petition filed by Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, for being incompetent.

The commission had on March 1 declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the winner of the February 25 election having polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat Obi and 16 other candidates.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, finished second with 6,984,520 votes while the LP flag bearer ended in third position with 6,101,533 votes.

Abubakar and PDP are also challenging the outcome of the poll in a separate petition.

In the petition marked: CA/PEPC/03/2023 filed by Obi and LP’s lead counsel, Livy Ozoukwu, they contended that Tinubu “was not duly elected by a majority of the lawful votes cast at the time of the election.”

The petitioners claimed that the poll was rigged in 11 states, adding that they would demonstrate this in the declaration of results based on the uploaded results.

They insisted that INEC violated its own regulations when it announced the result despite the fact that at the time of the announcement, the totality of the polling unit results had yet to be fully scanned, uploaded, and transmitted electronically as required by the Electoral Act, among others.

READ ALSO: Tinubu avoiding service of petition, Obi, Atiku allege

INEC made the call for the dismissal of the LP petition in its reply filed on Monday night at the tribunal’s secretariat in Abuja by its lawyer, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN).

The commission urged the court to either “dismiss or strike out the petition for being grossly incompetent, abusive, vague, nebulous, generic, general, non-specific, ambiguous, equivocal, hypothetical and academic.”

INEC argued that the grounds on which the petition was based were defective, having regard to the vague and imprecise averments supporting the said grounds.

It said the ground of the petitioners bordering on non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 and corrupt practices did not disclose a reasonable cause of action for failure to plead specific particulars and figures as to how the alleged non-compliance complained of substantially affected the results of the election.

“Prayers 3, 5(i) and 5(11) of the petition predicated on the ground of non-compliance in Paragraph 20(11) of the petition are ungrantable,” the commission declared.

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