The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) sitting in Abuja has dismissed the petition alleging that the requirement for presidential candidates to be declared winners of the election is that they must secure 25% of the votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
This was contained in a ruling read by tribunal chairman, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani, on Wednesday, September 6, 2023.
According to the court, there is no special status attached to the FCT, and it is equal to every other state in Nigeria.
The ruling was made in response to a petition filed by the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, who challenged the election of President Bola Tinubu. Obi had argued that Tinubu should be disqualified from being president because he did not win 25% of the votes cast in the FCT.
Similarly, the tribunal has dismissed the allegation by the Labour Party, LP, and its candidate, Mr Peter Obi, that the 2023 presidential election was rigged in favour of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The court, in its preliminary ruling that was delivered by Justice Abba Mohammed, held that Obi and the LP, did not by way of credible evidence, establish their allegation that the election held on February 25, was characterized by manifest corrupt practices.
It held that though the Petitioners alleged that the election was marred by irregularities, they, however, failed to give specific details of where the alleged infractions took place.
The court noted that whereas Obi and the LP, insisted that the election was rigged in 18, 088 polling units across the federation, they were unable to state the locations of the said polling units.
It further held that Obi’s allegation that fictitious results were recorded to President Tinubu and the APC, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was not proved.
More so, it held that the Petitioners were unable to state the figures they claimed were reduced from election results they garnered in different states of the federation, especially in Ondo, Oyo, Rivers, Yobe, Borno, Tabara, Osun, and Lagos states.
It held that the Petitioners equally failed to state the polling units where over-voting occurred or the exact figures of unlawful votes that were credited to Tinubu by the INEC.
It stressed that though Obi and LP said they would rely on spreadsheets as well as forensic reports and expert analysis of their expert witnesses, they failed to attach the documents to the petition or serve the same on the Respondents as required by the law.
The court held that though the petition contained serious allegations that bordered on violence, non-voting, suppression of votes, fictitious entry of election results and corrupt practices, the Petitioners, however, failed to give particulars of specific polling units where the incidences took place.
It held that several portions of the petition that contained the allegations were “vague, imprecise, nebulous and bereft of particular materials.”