14th April 2023
*You’ve been losing since 1993, he replies Atiku
*Says call for run-off poll baseless
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, ABUJA
The President-elect, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has challenged the competence of a petition the Labour Party, LP, and its candidate, Peter Obi, filed to nullify his election.
He also queried the legal competence of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, petition, filed to nullify his election.
Tinubu, in a preliminary objection he filed alongside his Vice-President-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima, maintained that Obi lacked the locus standing to file a petition to challenge his election victory.
He argued that Obi was not validly nominated to contest the presidential election in line with the mandatory provisions of sections 77(2) and (3) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
He insisted that Obi’s name was not found on the register of members of the LP, noting that he defected to the party from the PDP, less than 30 days before the primary election that produced him as a presidential candidate, was conducted.
On why he won the presidential election, Tinubu, in the preliminary objection he filed through his team of lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, said it was his consistency and track record of excellence in public service, that endeared him to millions of the electorates across the federation.
He further accused Obi of jumping from one political party to the other, insisting that the LP lacked the structure to win the presidential contest.
On his qualification, Tinubu told the court, that he is a holder of a Degree of Bachelor of Science in Business and Administration from the Chicago State University since 1979, adding that he has vast private and public sector work experience, including working with Mobil Oil Nigeria as an auditor, and later treasurer of the company.
According to him, “The entirety of Obi’s petition is about guesswork, hype, speculation and conjecture, as there is nowhere in the entirety of the petition, where the petitioners have specified in any form howsoever, the number of their votes which have been affected by irregularities which they bandy and what their total number of votes would have been on the one hand, and the number of the respondents’ votes that have been inflated by the much-touted allegations of noncompliance/corrupt practices and what the votes of the respondents would have been on the other hand.
“In terms of national acceptance of the 2nd respondent as a political figure, titan and maestro on the one hand, and that of the 1st petitioner on the other hand, the 2nd respondent is far ahead of the 1st petitioner in every sphere and index, and this is clearly known to Nigerians and also demonstrated by the result of the election.”
While denying the allegation that the election was fraught with irregularities, Tinubu, accused Obi of accepting the outcome of the election in states where he won and denigrating results from states he lost.
“The respondents shall further contend that the petitioners have embarked on a wild goose chase in the presentation of this petition and, in the process, are questioning results of elections where the respondents lost, including where the petitioners were declared winners, as exemplified in paragraph 73 of the petition where petitioners were querying results of Lagos, Imo and Plateau where they won, as well as Taraba, Adamawa, Bauchi and Kaduna where PDP won.