The candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the presidential election held on the 25th day of February, 2023, Mr. Peter Gregory Obi, has filed his Final Written Address at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) holden at the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, insisting that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu and his running mate, Senator Shettima Kashim, must be disqualified from participating in the election.
The Written Address has Peter Obi and Labour Party as the Petitioners and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Ahmed Bola Tinubu, Shettima and APC as the Respondents .
Giving his reasons for the demand, Peter Obi/Labour Party stated as follows:
“A sentence in the 2nd-3rd Respondents’ address alarmed the Petitioners and millions of Nigerians. The 2nd-3rd Respondents went too low and abandoned discretion when they claimed as follows: “Our submission is that the Petitioners are inviting anarchy by their ventilation of this issue of non-transmission of results electronically, by MEC.”
This is a cheap, misguided, and destructive blackmail clearly intended to target the country’s judicialism and constitutionalism. It also aims at cannibalizing our democracy. It will also raise the issue of insecurity if the Petitioners emulate the bad example of the 2nd-3rd Respondents. However, that will never happen. When has it become offensive for Petitioners to canvass a ground prescribed for the challenge of an election in section 134(1)(6) of the Electoral Act 2022? Desperation taken too far can be extremely dangerous. Let the 2nd-3rd Respondents know that where the rule of law is trampled upon or truncated, anarchy reigns supreme!
i. Prior to the conduct of the 25th February 2023 Presidential election, the 3rd Respondent had previously been nominated as a Senatorial Candidate of the 4th Respondent for Borno Central Senatorial District, and remained so till 15th July 2022, when he withdrew his said nomination as a Senatorial Candidate of the 4th Respondent for Borno Central Senatorial District on the platform of the 4th Respondent. Whilst the 3rd Respondent was standing nominated as the Senatorial Candidate as aforestated, he was unlawfully nominated as the Vice Presidential candidate of the 4° Respondent on 14th July 2022, thereby, knowingly allowed himself to be nominated as a Candidate in more than one constituency within the meaning and intendment of Section 35 of the Electoral Act.
ii. The Petitioners will argue that the invalid nomination of the 3rd Respondent as the Vice Presidential Candidate, nullified the nomination/election of the 2nd Respondent as the Presidential Candidate of the 4th Respondent, within the meaning of the provision of Section 142 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
iii. It is common knowledge that the 2nd Respondent was a subject of an Order of Forfeiture made by the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, in Case No: 93C 4483. The Order of Forfeiture against the Respondent was in terms forfeiting die sum of USD $460,000 against him Bola Tinubu, which represents “proceeds of narcotics trafficking” and “money laundry. The Order for Forfeiture against the 2nd Respondent was a fine within the meaning of Section 137 (I) (d) of the 1999 Constitution for which a person shall not be qualified for election to the office of the President if he is under a sentence of fine for any offence involving dishonest or fraud by whatever name called imposed on him by a Court or Tribunal.
iv. The virus of the statutory and constitutional disqualification of the 2nd and 3rd Respondents as Candidates in Presidential election renders their purported return/declaration as the winners of the election invalid, null and void and liable to be set aside.