By Edith Nwapi
Abuja, Aug 1, 2023
The Presidential Election Petition Court on Tuesday reserved judgment in a petition filed by Mr. Peter Obi and Labour Party (LP) challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu.
Obi and LP are petitioners in the petition marked CA/PEPC/03/2023 challenging the election which brought President Bola Tinubu into power.
Respondents are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), president Bola Tinubu and Vice president Kashim Shettima and All Progressives Congress (APC).
The five-member panel presided over by Justice Haruna Tsammani reserved judgment to a date that will be communicated to parties after parties adopted their final written addresses.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that following the closing of the cases of the respondents on July 5, time was given to parties to file their written addresses.
Adopting their final written addresses filed on July 14, Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, lead counsel for INEC urged the court to uphold their objections and take the petition as lacking in merit and should be dismissed.
Mahmoud said there are five issues listed but he would speak on two.
One of them, according to Mahmoud, was the issue of non compliance and the conduct of the election conducted by INEC.
According to him, all these revolve around the use of technology and that the petitioners totally misunderstood what was used, that is the Bimodal voters accreditation system (BVAs) and IreV portal.
Similarly, Wole Olanipekun , SAN counsel for Tinubu and Shettima urged the court to dismiss the petition for lacking in merit.
He said before the law, the petitioners have abandoned their petition, adding that he would look at three areas.
He argued that non compliance is one area, that results have not been electronically uploaded to IreV is not part of collation system.
He added that all collation was done physically.
For the 25 per cent votes of the FCT, he argued that Tinubu secured two third votes adding that Obi does not have locus standi for rerun election because he was not the 1st runner up.
He further said there is no connectivity between the petitioners and the petition.
Counsel for APC, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN aligned with the submissions of Mahmoud and Olanipekun. He, however, said the petition is ambitious.
He added that the petitioners did not dispute that voting took place and results announced.
He argued that to dispute the results, evidence must be given from every polling unit.
He argued further on the FCT 25 per cent votes and qualification of candidates.
Responding, Livy Uzoukwu, SAN counsel for the petitioners argued that the respondents have laboured in vain to understand the importance of IreV.
He added that their witness told the court during his evidence how important the IreV is.
He said the election cannot be said to be credible if INEC can give Certified True Copy (CTC) of 8,123 of blurred result sheets.
Uzoukwu insisted that the petitioners have proved their petition particularly in the allegations of non compliance.