Reports emerging from Nigeria’s capital Abuja indicate that three out of the 18 political parties that participated in the February 25 presidential election, have filed their individual petitions against the outcome of the election.
The petitions were lodged on Tuesday alleging that the February 25 presidential election was characterised by huge irregularities and electoral malpractices.
Details in the petitions include an argument that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to electronically upload results immediately from its polling units to the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IREV).
Among the petitioners challenging the declaration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as winner of the election, are the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi; Action Alliance (AA) and its presidential candidate, Solomon Okangbuan, and Allied People’s Movement (APM) and its presidential candidate, Princess Chichi Ojei.
In separate suits marked CA/PEPC/01/2023; CA/PEPC/03/2023 and CA/PEPC/04/2023; they are challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential election on grounds of substantial non-compliance with the electoral law, as well as the guidelines of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
While INEC is the 1st respondent, Tinubu, his vice president-elect, Kashim Shetima and the APC are 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively.
Besides non-compliance, Obi and LP, in their petition, are claiming that at the time of the presidential election, Tinubu and Shettima were not qualified to contest it.
“That it be determined that all the votes recorded for the 2nd respondent in the election are wasted votes owing to the non-qualification/ disqualification of 2 and 3 respondents.
“That it be determined that on the basis of the remaining votes after discountenancing the votes credited to the 2 and 3 respondents, the 1st petitioner scored a majority of the lawful votes cast at the election and had not less than 25% in each of at least 2/3 of the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and satisfied the constitutional requirements to be declared the winner of February 25, 2023 presidential election.
“That it be determined that 2nd respondent having failed to score one-quarter of the votes cast at the presidential election in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja was not entitled to be declared and returned as the winner of the presidential election held on Saturday, February 25, 2023,” The petitioners’ prayed.
In addition to those, Obi and LP in ground one, paragraph 28 of the petition declared that Tinubu was not qualified to contest for the presidency because he was fined in America for involving in dishonesty bordering on narcotics trafficking.
They stated: “The petitioners further plead that the 2nd respondent was also at the time of the election not qualified to contest for election to the office of President, as he was fined the sum of $460,000 (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.
“That by reason of the said disqualification of the 2nd and 3rd respondents, the votes purportedly recorded for the 2nd respondent in the election were/are wasted and invalid; and that the petitioners who from the correct result of the election obtained the highest number of lawful votes cast in the election and met the constitutional requirements to be declared and returned as the winner of the election ought to be declared as the winner of the Presidential election held on February 25, 2023.”