Tribunal: Obi Failed To Prove Claims Of Election Irregularities, Suppression Of Votes

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The election petition tribunal in Abuja has stated that the petition filed by Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 elections, was vague in certain aspects.

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In the lead judgment read by Justice Abba Bello Mohammed, the tribunal held that the petitioners (Obi and LP) only referred to irregularities in the election but failed to specify the anomalies, the places were they occurred and those affected.

The tribunal also said the petitioners failed to state the number of votes affected and the number of people disenfranchised.

The court said although Obi and LP claimed to have scored the majority of lawful votes cast, they failed to state the number of lawful votes they scored.

READ ALSO: Peter Obi Denies Sponsoring Burial Of Rufai Oseni’s Father

“The determination of election is about figures,” the court held.

The court said the petitioners also failed to prove that their votes were suppressed by failing to specify the number of votes suppressed.

The court also struck out several paragraphs of the LP’s petition for being generic and vague, stating that the affected paragraphs failed to name the specific polling units where irregularities occurred.

Tinubu and Shettima had contended that they had the locus standi to institute their petition against Obi, on the grounds that he only joined the LP few days before the election, instead of the mandatory 30 days.

However, the court held that it is not within the rights of Tinubu and Shettima to challenge Obi’s candidacy.

“The issue of membership of a political party is an internal party affair,” the tribunal said.

The tribunal also dismissed the objection raised by the respondents contending that Obi and LP failed to join Atiku as a respondent in their petition.

The court held that Section 133 of the Electoral Act provides that the loser and winner of an election, as well as the person/body who conducted the election, are to be joined as respondents.

READ ALSO: Kwankwaso Pays Visit To Tinubu Amidst Rumors Of Merger With Atiku, Peter Obi (Photos)

Justice Haruna Tsammani is delivering judgment on the main petition.

The court held that witnesses 3,4,5,6, 7,8,9,10,11 and 13 subpoenaed by LP are not witnesses of the court and that the witness statements were filed out of time.

“Out of a total of 13 witnesses called by Obi/LP, 10 of those witnesses are not countenanced by the court,” he said.

Tsammani said the 10 witness statements of oath are incompetent and cannot be admissible by the court.

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