The People’s Petition
In prayers to the tribunal Labour Party’s presidential candidate alleges that Nigeria’s president elect Bola Tinubu had links to narcotics trafficking therefore not qualified to contest for the presidency
Nigeria’s opposition Labour Party (LP) candidate Peter Obi has filed a petition seeking to cancel results from last month’s disputed presidential election, court papers showed, kicking off what could be a long legal campaign lasting several months.
In an explosive revelation which has implications of bringing the Office of the President and Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces into disrepute was the allegation that the President Elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress (APC) had links to narcotics trafficking and $460,000 was forfeited to the United States Government.
“Peter Obi and Labour Party are seeking to disqualify Bola Tinubu on account of his drug related forfeiture in the US. It’s going to be an interesting litigation at the Court of Appeal. The issue has now been made topical. They’re also raising the issue of 25% votes in the FCT.” Inibehe Effiong a prominent legal advocate tweeted.
Obi asked the Appeals Court to invalidate the election won by Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party, accusing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of breaching the law by failing to use electronic machines to upload polling station results.
Obi said in an affidavit that the election was invalid because of “corrupt practices and non-compliance with the provision of the Electoral Act which disqualifies the 2nd respondent Bola Tinubu and the 3rd respondent Kassim Shettima from contesting for President and Vice-President.
He sought an order “cancelling the presidential election … and mandating the (first) respondent (INEC) to conduct a fresh election.” or declare him the winner.
Obi campaigned as an outsider, galvanised young and first-time voters and had appeared to throw the contest wide open, raising some voters’ hopes for change after years of hardship and violence under outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari, 80, a former army general.
Election observers from the European Union, the Commonwealth and other groups reported a range of problems, among them failures in systems designed to prevent vote manipulation.
Violence and voter intimidation marred last month’s presidential vote as well as last weekend’s governorship polls. Turnout was low despite the highest number of registered voters, at 93 million.
The Appeals Court has 180 days to hear and make a ruling on Obi’s challenge.
If a candidate is not satisfied with the outcome of the tribunal, they can approach the Supreme Court, which will deliberate on an appeal within 60 days.
Nigeria’s next president will be sworn in on May 29.
Akowe reports from Abuja with materials from Reuters