Nigeria’s President, Mr. Bola Tinubu, has said the appeal by the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, is lacking in merit, substance and good faith.
Tinubu who said Obi’s appeal which was based on allegations dismissed at the election petition tribunal, argued that the presidential election was peacefully conducted all over the country, and the results of elections were carefully and accurately recorded in the various forms of EC8As.
This was contained in a response by his lead counsel, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, to the appeal filed by Obi challenging the decision of the tribunal.
He said, ”The entire petition was nothing but a jamboree of sorts, which was prosecuted more in the media than in the courtroom and the lower court, being a court of law and not of sentiments, dutifully threw away their petition after a painstaking consideration of same.
if considered from every angle, is lacking in merit, substance, and good faith.
“Be it noted that, unlike previous election petitions over which this honourable court has presided (in time past) and made far-reaching pronouncements on diverse issues, including but not limited to ballot box snatching, vote buying, voters’ intimidation, interference by the military, thuggery, ballot stuffing, violence, disenfranchisement, non-recording of votes in form EC8A, which is the building block or the base of the pyramid, and such other electoral vices, this appeal arising from a dismissed petition, the main grouse of which is that, while the presidential election was peacefully conducted all over the country, and results of elections carefully and accurately recorded in the various form EC8As, some unidentified and unspecified results, even in the appellants’ brief were not uploaded electronically to the IREV portal. ”
He noted that Obi failed to prove his allegations of non-compliance and corrupt practices as required by law.
Tinubu said, “Instructively, however, the lower court, appreciating that it is not a court of final instance, proceeded to determine the petition on its merit, while itemising several monumental failures of the petitioners to provide any evidence in support of their much-touted case.
“While affirming the election and declaration of the 2nd respondent at the referenced presidential election, the lower court also found that the appellants did not prove any of their allegations on the requisite standards of proof. ”
In his reply on the 25 percent requirement in the FCT, Tinubu told the apex court that Obi was on a “fishing expedition”.
He said, “The other very remote contention is that the 2nd respondent did not score 25 percent of the votes recorded at the Federal Capital Territory.
“With much respect to the appellants, the petition is more of a fishing expedition; much more of evocation of thunder without dews. ”
Tinubu, however, said the tribunal judgment was in order, adding that, “It is against the well-considered judgment of the lower court that the appellants have brought this appeal.”