Tribunal admits more evidence in Obi’s petition against Tinubu

THE Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) has admitted Certified True Copies (CTC) of electoral documents as evidence in the petition filed by the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) Peter Obi, against the election of President Bola Tinubu.

The documents, consisting of polling unit results known as forms EC8A, were tendered by Obi’s legal team led by Awa Kalu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), during the resumed hearing of the suit on Thursday, June 1.

During the proceedings, Obi’s legal team informed the court of their intention to present CTC of the documents from 18 states.

But due to time constraints, they could only present documents from six states before their allotted time expired.

The result sheets tendered during the proceedings were from Local Government Areas in Rivers, Benue, Cross River, Niger, Osun and Ekiti states.

Among the forms EC8As presented to the court, the petitioners initially intended to present the bundle of forms for 21 Local Government Areas in Rivers State, but during their presentation, they could only reconcile and tender 15 of the forms.

The court noted this inconsistency.

The respondents in the petition, including Tinubu’s legal team led by Wole Olanikpekun, SAN, objected to the admissibility of the Certified True Copies of the documents.

They stated they would provide their reasons for objection in their final written addresses.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) also opposed the admissibility of the documents.

However, the five-man panel, led by Haruna Simon Tsammani, admitted the documents from the 15 Local Government Areas in Rivers State as evidence and marked them as Exhibits PB1 to PB15.

The court also admitted electoral forms from 23 Local Government Areas in Benue State, marking them as Exhibits PT1 to PT23.

In the same vein, results from 18 Local Government Areas in Cross River State, marked as Exhibits PD1 to PD18 and results from LGAs in Niger, Osun and Ekiti states were equally admitted as evidence.

The panel adjourned further proceedings in Obi’s petition to June 2, for continuation of hearing.

The ICIR earlier reported that the tribunal, during its sitting on Tuesday, May 30, admitted a United States court judgment against Tinubu as evidence. The judgment, which included five exhibits presented by Obi’s counsels, alleged that Tinubu had been convicted of drug trafficking and fined $460,000.

Obi’s petition

In their petition, Obi and the LP argued that when Tinubu’s running mate, Kashim Shettima, became the vice presidential candidate, he was still nominated as the APC candidate for the Borno Central Senatorial election.

They also challenged Tinubu’s eligibility, alleging that he was previously indicted and fined $460,000.00 by a United States District Court for an offence involving dishonesty and drug trafficking.

Obi, who came third according to results announced by INEC, claimed that the election was invalid due to corrupt practices and non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.






     

     

    He argued that INEC breached its regulations and guidelines by not prescribing and deploying technological devices for voter accreditation, verification, continuation, and authentication as required.

    The petitioner sought a declaration from the court that Tinubu was not qualified to contest the election and that all votes recorded for him were wasted.

    He also requested the court to determine that he received a majority of lawful votes and satisfied constitutional requirements to be declared the winner.

    In the alternative, he called for the cancellation of the election and the conduct of a fresh election in which Tinubu, Shettima, and the APC would not participate.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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