By Ononye VC
Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), has filed a petition at the presidential election tribunal challenging the victory of Bola Tinubu as president-elect.
Tinubu, the standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was declared the winner of the presidential election held on February 25.
Tinubu secured 8,794,726 votes, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had 6,984,520, and Obi polled 6,101,533.
Obi’s petition was filed in the early hours of Tuesday at the Abuja Court of Appeal, which serves as the presidential election petition tribunal.
While Obi and the LP are the petitioners, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Tinubu, Kashim Shettima, the vice president-elect, and the APC are respondents.
• Grounds and prayers of the petition
In the petition, Obi through his lawyer Livy Ozoukwu submitted that Tinubu “at the time of the (presidential) election was not qualified to contest the election”.
He further argued that the president-elect “was not duly elected by majority of the lawful votes cast at the time of the election”.
Consequently, the petitioners are asking the tribunal to determine that all the votes recorded for Tinubu in the election “are wasted votes, owing to the non-qualification” of the president-elect and Shettima.
“That it be determined that the 2nd respondent ( Tinubu) 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 25 February 2023,” the petitioner said.
“That it be determined that on the basis of the remaining votes (after discountenancing the votes credited to the 2nd respondent) the 1st petitioner scored a majority of the lawful votes cast at the election and had not less than 25% of the votes cast 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 the 25th February 2023 presidential election.”
Obi wants the tribunal to issue an order directing INEC to present him with a certificate of return as the duly elected president of Nigeria.
However, in the alternative, the petitioners have asked the tribunal to make “an order cancelling the election and compelling the 1st respondent (INEC) to conduct a fresh election at which the 2nd respondent (Tinubu), 3rd respondent (Shettima) and 4th respondent (APC) shall not participate”.