The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to dismiss a petition filed by the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, challenging the outcome of the February 25th Presidential election.
Obi and his party had contested the victory of Bola Tinubu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the President-Elect, citing alleged rigging and violations of the Electoral Act 2022.
In its response to the petition, INEC argued that the reliefs sought by Obi and his party were not grantable, and asked the court to either dismiss or strike out the petition for being grossly incompetent, abusive, vague, non-specific, ambiguous, and academic.
The electoral commission discredited the petitioners’ claim that Tinubu was not elected by the majority of lawful votes cast, and highlighted deficiencies in the petitioners’ pleading and failure to join necessary parties.
INEC also argued that Obi cannot be declared the winner, as he did not poll the majority of lawful votes cast and secure one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all states in the federation and the FCT.
The issue of non-representation was also raised, with INEC stating that the petitioners did not have polling agents in all the polling units across Nigeria, falling short of the required number.
The petition filed by the Labour Party and Peter Obi has sparked legal proceedings and debates over the outcome of the presidential election, with further developments expected in the coming days.