Mataz Arising reported that Obi prayed the court to declare him as the candidate that secured the majority of the lawful votes cast with the required constitutional spread of not less than 25% of the votes cast in at least two-thirds of the states of the federation, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The Presidential Election Petition Court has said Peter Obi and the Labour Party (LP) failed to prove anomalies in their petition against President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima.
At the presidential elections tribunal, Peter Obi prayed the court to declare him as the candidate that secured the majority of the lawful votes cast with the required constitutional spread of not less than 25% of the votes cast in at least two-thirds of the states of the federation, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
He pleaded with the court to order a fresh poll, with the exclusion of both Tinubu and the APC, by virtue of their non-qualification to participate in the election.
Respondents in the petition are the Independent National Electoral Commission, President Bola Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
On March 1, INEC announced Tinubu as the winner of the presidential election contested by 18 candidates.
It declared that Tinubu got a total of 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party who got a total of 6,984,520 votes and Obi who came third with a total of 6,101,533 votes.
However, on Wednesday, the court said the petitioners “failed to specify the particular polling units and specific places where electoral malpractice occurred”.
Justice Abba Mohammed, one of the members of the tribunal’s five-member panel, said the “petitioners failed to specify the anomalies, the places where the anomalies occurred” as alleged.
It said the petitioners also failed to specify where overvoting occurred and the margin of lead of who won.
According to the tribunal, they also failed to show the polling units where their votes were reduced.
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Court rejects 10 out of Peter Obi’s 13 witnesses
The presidential election court made the pronouncement in its judgement being delivered on the petition filed by Mr Obi and his party to challenge the election of President Bola Tinubu.
The Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja has rejected the testimonies and exhibits tendered by 10 out of the 13 witnesses presented by the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.
Haruna Tsammani, the head of the five-member bench, made the pronouncement in his judgement on the petition filed by Mr Obi and his party to challenge the election of President Bola Tinubu.
The judge is still reading the judgement as of the time of filing this report.
He said the witness statements on oath of the 10 witnesses, who were subpoenaed to testify in the case, were not competent and could not be recognised by the court.
This, the judge said, was because they were not filed along with the petition as of the close of the 21 days within which the petitioners must file their case.
Mr Tsammani, who was ruling on the objection of Mr Tinubu and other respondents to the petition, held that the witness statements on oath of the witnesses having been declared incompetent, the 10 witnesses were also not competent to testify in the case.
“They are therefore not the witnesses of this court,” Mr Tsammani ruled.
He said the petitioners were aware of the legal provision relating to the filing of witness statements on oath yet went ahead to present 10 witnesses without their witness statements on oath earlier filed with the petition.
Mr Tsammani said under section 285 of the Nigerian constitution, section 137(7) of the Electoral Act 2022, and other provisions, every witness statement on oath must be filed along with the petition.
He said that based on the Supreme Court authority, once the 21-day window for filing an election petition lapses, the content of the petition cannot be amended.
He said further that no additional statement on oath can be filed after the close of the window since the respondents would not have the opportunity to respond to it.
The court, therefore,. rejected the exhibits tendered by the affected 10 witnesses.
Mr Tsammani had said at the beginning of the judgement that Mr Obi called 13 witnesses who testified as PW1 to PW13.
Of the 13 witnesses, the judge said, only three are their witnesses whose statements on oath were filed along with the petition.
The remaining 10 witnesses were subpoenaed and their witness statements on oath were only filed after the hearing started.
“This court admits that FCT Abuja doesn’t attract special status and it is not more important than any other state in Nigeria…..”
The U.S embassy in Nigeria had replied that a record check was conducted and result of the check was negative. Gov Tinubu was not convicted in U.S.
There is no constitutional provision making it mandatory to transmit results electronically from polling units real-time. It is hereby dismissed.
BIVAS is for verification of voters. It is not primarily to be used, according to the fact before me, like in the case of Adeleke & Oyetola, for result collation.
Even the evidence of the petitioners show that the results were taken from various polling units to the collation centers.
Do not invest on hackers to win an election, inec may decide not to use their servers.
Reason: INEC is an INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION
The Tribunal then concluded that Peter Obi only made allegations, but failed to show how he won major votes.
The Tribunal then upheld Tinubu, presidential elections result that declared the then candidate Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the February 25, 2023 poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
To rub salt on injury;
PEPT fined three parties for filing frivolous petitions for wasting the time of the court on frivolous election petitions, the following parties have been fined therein in line with the Judicial act 87, sub section 390 of 1968 (as amended)
APM: N13,675,890.00 only.
47, 910, 431.87 only.
23, 391,001.45 only.
The learned judges advised the fines be paid within 48 hours after the judgement is given into the consolidated account of the Appeal court lodged at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
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