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Declare me winner or cancel poll, Obi urges tribunal

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The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the February 25 election, Peter Obi, has asked the Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPC) to, among others, declare him the winner of the election.

In the alternative, Obi prayed the court to cancel the election and conduct a fresh poll.

These are among the reliefs he is seeking in a petition he filed with his party at the court’s secretariat at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

Obi and LP reportedly filed their petition yesterday with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Bola Tinubu (President-elect), Kashim Shettima (Vice President-elect) and their party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), listed as respondents.

The petitioners are challenging the election on three grounds, alleging that Tinubu “at the time of the election, was not qualified to contest the election”.

They are also contending that Tinubu’s election “was invalid by reason of corrupt practices or non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act,” and that he (Tinubu) “was not duly elected by majority of the valid votes cast”.

They also argued that Shettima was not qualified to contest the election on the ground of his alleged double nomination as a senatorial candidate for Borno Central and as a vice presidential candidate.

The petitioners averred that they “shall contend at the trial that the purported sponsorship of the second and third respondents (Tinubu and Shettima) by the fourth respondent (APC) was rendered invalid by reason of the third respondent knowingly allowing himself to be nominated as the vice presidential candidate whilst he was still a senatorial candidate” for the Borno Central Senatorial District.

Obi and LP prayed the court for four sets of alternative prayers.

The first set includes:

•That it be determined that at the time of the presidential election held on February 25, 2023, the second and third respondents (Tinubu and Shettima) were not qualified to contest the election.

•That it be determined that all the votes recorded for the second respondent in the election are wasted votes, owing to the non-qualification of the second and third respondents, among others.

Alternatively, they sought:

•An order cancelling the election and compelling the first respondent (INEC) to conduct a fresh election at which the second, third and fourth respondents (Tinubu, Shettima and APC) shall not participate.

No date has been set for the hearing of any of the petitions.

As alternative to the earlier prayers, the petitioners are also seeking the set of prayers.

These include:

•That it may be determined that the second respondent was not duly elected by a majority of the lawful votes in the election for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria held on February 25, 2023; and therefore, the declaration and return of the 2nd respondent as the winner of the presidential election are unlawful, unconstitutional and of no effect whatsoever, among others.

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