APC seeks dismissal of petitions against Tinubu’s victory

THE All Progressives Congress (APC) has filed a petition to dismiss petitions by three opposition parties challenging the victory of its presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

  1. The political parties, Action Alliance (AA), Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and Action Peoples Party (APP), had, in separate petitions, questioned Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 presidential election.

The APM, in its petition, argued that Tinubu was not qualified to contest the election based on the alleged double nomination of his vice-presidential candidate.

The party faulted the substitution of the initial vice presidential candidate, Kabir Masari, with Shettima.

The APP petitioned that Tinubu was, at the time of the election, not qualified to contest for the presidency under the provisions of sections 131(c) and 142 of the Constitution and Section 35 of the Electoral Act 2022.

The AA sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC, its presidential candidate and the President-elect, Tinubu, while also asking that the presidential election is declared void.

APC counter-petition

In response to the suits, the APC, in three separate counter-petitions, prayed to the tribunal to dismiss the petitions.

The party wrote to the tribunal on Sunday, April 9, through its legal team led by Lateef Fagbemi, SAN.

The APC argued that its candidate was duly elected, having won the majority of lawful votes cast in the presidential election.

It maintained that the petitions were baseless and without merit.

The party noted that facts are unavailable “to validate the petitioners’ claims and/or purported right to present the instant petition”.

“For an election petition to be competent, it must complain against the return and/or election of the winner of the disputed election.

“The instant petition is neither challenging and/or questioning the election of the 2nd and/or 3rd respondent (APC/Tinubu).

“The petition as presently constituted amounts to a pre-election matter of nomination and sponsorship of candidate(s).

“The crux of the petition being the nomination and sponsorship of the 1st petitioner’s candidate is statute-barred, having not been commenced within the mandatory 14 days provided for under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999,” the APC noted.

The party faulted the competence of the petitions by the APP, APM and AA, adding that they are based solely on pre-election issues.

“Issues of nomination, sponsorship and exclusion of candidates for an election are issues that precede the conduct of an election and are pre-election matters that cannot be raised or canvased before an election tribunal.

“Facts in support of the petition speak to intra —party issues, pre-election disputes and administrative actions of INEC triable by Federal High Court under Section 285 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as altered by the 4th Alteration Act and outside the original jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal being a Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.”

The presidential election

The 2023 presidential election took place on February 25. Tinubu, the ruling party candidate, won the tight race and is to succeed Muhammadu Buhari as the next President of Nigeria.

Tinubu won with 8,794,726 votes, defeating 17 other candidates.




     

     

    According to INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, Tinubu, “having satisfied the law requirements,” was declared the winner “and is returned elected”.

    However, the election is surrounded by controversies. Several political parties have questioned the election process and it’s outcome, and are calling for the cancellation of what they called a “sham” of an election.

    There have been numerous legal challenges from opposition parties to the election’s outcome.

    The presidential candidates of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, are also challenging the outcome of the election.

    Beloved John is an investigative reporter with International Centre for Investigative Reporting.

    You can reach her via: [email protected]

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