The Labour Party and its Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, have emphasized their plea to the Presidential Election Petition Court, urging it to invalidate President Bola Tinubu’s victory.
Their argument centers on the alleged disqualification of Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima from contesting the election. They assert that Tinubu did not meet the eligibility criteria, as he failed to score 25 percent of the votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The final written address presented by Obi and the party counters the joint final address by Tinubu and Shettima, which sought the dismissal of the Labour Party’s petition.
One of the major contentions revolves around the alleged non-compliance with the Electoral Act and related regulations. Obi and his party claim that INEC’s failure to electronically transmit the presidential election results from the polling units to its results viewing portal amounts to non-compliance.
They maintain that their case is substantially supported by evidence, as they called 13 witnesses and submitted volumes of documents, in contrast to INEC’s one witness, one from Tinubu and Shettima, and none from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Additionally, they argue that Tinubu’s purported involvement in forfeiture proceedings in a United States District Court should have led INEC to disqualify him from the election.
Another point of contention is that INEC wrongly declared Tinubu as the winner despite his failure to secure 25 percent of votes in the FCT.
Their conclusion centers on the interpretation of the election requirements. They argue that obtaining 25 percent of the votes in the FCT should be a stand-alone requirement for the presidential office, rather than considering the FCT as just another state alongside Nigeria’s 36 states, where the winning candidate must secure at least 25 percent in two-thirds of all states (37 states).
“Hence, the deliberate amendment of the drafters of the 1999 Constitution, to include the additional requirement of 25 percent votes in the FCT must not be rendered redundant as it is possible that the drafters intended that the popularity of the winning candidate must extend not only to an appreciable geographical spread, but also to the FCT being the capital city and melting pot for all Nigerians and which would truly reflect the will of all Nigerians.”
They finally urged the court to uphold their petition and grants their reliefs.