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Presidential election court reserves judgment in Obi, LP’s petition

Peter Obi and Bola Tinubu

The Presidential Election Petition Court on Tuesday reserved judgment in a petition filed by Mr Peter Obi and Labour Party (LP) challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu into power.

Obi and LP are petitioners in the petition marked CA/PEPC/03/2023 are challenging the election which brought president Bola Tinubu into power

Respondents are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) president Bola Tinubu and Vice president Kashim Shettima and All Progressives Congress (APC).

The five-member panel presided over by Justice Haruna Tsammani reserved judgment to a date that will be communicated to parties after parties adopted their final written addresses.

Following the closing of the cases of the respondents on July 5, time was given to parties to file their written addresses.

Adopting their final written addresses filed on July 14 , Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, lead counsel for INEC urged the court to uphold their objections and take the petition as lacking in merit and should be dismissed.

Mohamund said there are five issues listed but he would speak on two.

One of them according to Mohamund was the non compliance and the conduct of the election conducted by INEC.

According to him all these revolves in the use of technology and the petitioners totally misunderstood what was used, that is the Bimodal voters accredited (BVAs) and IreV portal.

He argued that the evidence before the court showed clearly that the first respondent made sure technology was deployed for election.

The two points of disagreement he said were the contrivance in the minds of the petitioners that electronic collation of the results manually system was carried out.

He added that the petitioners failed to present evidence to support their allegation on electronic collation of any of the election results.

Mahmoud argued further that the petitioners alleged that the glitches that occurred during the election was orchestrated to manipulate the result of the election.

Similarly, Wole Olanipekun , SAN counsel for Tinubu and Shettima urged the court to dismiss the petition for lacking in merit.

He said before the law, the petitioners have abandoned their petition, adding he would look at three areas.

He argued that non compliance is one area, that results have not been electronically uploaded to IreV is not part of collation system.

He added that all collation was done physically.

For the 25 per cent votes of the FCT, he argued that Tinubu secured two third votes adding Obi does not have locus standi for rerun election because he was not the 1st runner up.

He further said there is no connectivity between the the petitioners and the petition

Counsel for APC, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN aligned with the submissions of Mahmoud and Olanipekun however , said the petition is ambitious

He added that the petitioners did not dispute that voting took place and results announced

He argued that to dispute the results, evidence must be given from every polling unit.

He argued further on FCT 25 per cent votes and qualification of candidates.

Responding, Livy Uzoukwu, SAN counsel for the petitioners argued that the respondents have laboured in vain to understand the importance of IreV.

He added that their witness told the court during his evidence how important is the IreV.

He said the election can not said to be credible if INEC can give Certified true copy (CTC) of 8,123 of blurred result sheets.

He added with some blank and others with picture images adding that CTC of documents should be a replica of the original copy.

He argued that there was no glitches as claimed by the respondents.

Uzoukwu therefore submitted that the petitioners have proved their petition particularly in the allegations of non compliance. (NAN)

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