Nigeria: Tribunal Rejects APC Petition On Obi's Eligibility to Contest 2023 Election

Labour Party leader Peter Obi, left, Peoples Democratic Party leader Atiku Abubakar, right (file photo).
6 September 2023

The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT), on Wednesday, rejected the petition of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), challenging the eligibility of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, to contest in the February 25 poll.

The APC had challenged the candidacy of Obi on the grounds that he joined the LP a few days before the election, rather than the required 30 days.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Abba Mohammed, a member of the five-member panel, said membership in a political party is an internal affair.

However, the court dismissed the allegation by the Labour Party, LP, and its candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, that the 2023 presidential election was rigged in favour of President Bola Tinubu.

The court, in its preliminary ruling that was delivered by Justice Abba Mohammed, held that Obi and the the LP, did not by way of credible evidence, establish their allegation that the election that held on February 25, was characterized by manifest corrupt practices.

It held that though the Petitioners alleged that the election was marred by irregularities, they, however, failed to give specific details of where the alleged infractions took place.

The court noted that whereas Obi and the LP, insisted that the election was rigged in 18, 088 polling units across the federation, they were unable to state the locations of the said polling units.

It further held that Obi's allegation that fictitious results were recorded to President Tinubu and the APC, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was not proved.

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