TINUBU: All Eyes On Judiciary As 3 More Political Parties Seek Nullification Of APC’s Presidential Victory
As of the time of filing this report, four political parties have filed petitions before the Presidential Election Court against the victory of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress.
They are Allied Peoples Movement (against Independent National Electoral Commission, All Progressives Congress, Tinubu Bola Ahmed, Kashim Shettima and Kabir Masari), Action Alliance and Solomon David Okanigbuan (against INEC, All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu and Hamza Almustapha) and Action Peoples Party (against Bola Tinubu, All Progressives Congress, INEC).
Peter Obi of the Labour Party had earlier filed a similar suit before the tribunal against Tinubu, INEC and the ruling APC.
For the APP, its lawyer, Emeka Ozoani SAN, said the process that led to Tinubu’s victory was marred with malpractices and substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2022 by INEC, Tinubu and the APC.
“If the invalid votes ascribed to the 1st Respondent (Tinubu) as a result of corrupt practices, vote buying, over-voting, falsification/alteration and mutilation of election results, etc, were taken away and deducted from the 8,794,726 votes, the 1st respondent would not have scored the majority of lawful votes at the election,” Ozoani stated, adding that the court should void Tinubu’s victory and compel INEC to conduct a fresh election.
In its petition, the APM called for an order nullifying and voiding all the votes scored by Tinubu, alleging that INEC which declared him winner contravened the Electoral Act 2022.
APM’s lawyer, O.M. Atoyebi SAN urged the court to, with the exclusion of Tinubu, declare the candidate with the next highest votes as the winner of the election.
The respondents will have the opportunity to counter the petitions brought against them while the court will determine the merits of the case before it.
THE WHISTLER reports that since the Presidential Election Court Registry was opened for litigation following the declaration of Tinubu as winner of the election, a number of foreign officials have attended proceedings on the poll.
On Tuesday, THE WHISTLER observed persons from civil society organisations and European Union, seeking to find out the petitions filed so far.
Based on the Electoral Act 2022, INEC will be looking forward to findings of the court on the matter.
Section 72 of the Electoral Act 2022, provides that — “(1) A sealed certificate of return at an election in a prescribed form shall be issued within 14 days to every candidate who has been returned by the returning officer in an election under this Act : Provided that where the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court being the final appellate court in any election petition, as the case may be, nullifies any candidate’s certificate of return, the Commission shall within 48 hours after receipt of the court’s order, issue the successful candidate with a valid certificate of return.”