The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has asked the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to dismiss or strike out the petition filed by the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi over the outcome of the February 25th presidential election.
Peter Obi and the Labour Party (LP) filed a petition challenging the declaration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the President-Elect.
Obi and LP also challenged the eligibility of Tinubu’s running mate and Vice-President-Elect, Kashim Shettima, on grounds that he had a double nomination which is against the Electoral Act of 2022. Shettima allegedly held both a Senate ticket and Vice-Presidential ticket at the same time.
The petitioners stated that the election was influenced by rigging and manipulations, adding that INEC violated its own regulations when it announced the results, because the total polling unit results were yet to be fully scanned, uploaded, and transmitted electronically as required by the electoral act.
In its response, INEC said the answers sought by Peter Obi and LP are not grantable.
INEC asked for the dismissal of the petition for being grossly incompetent, abusive, vague, non-specific, ambiguous, and academic. INEC went further to deny the petitioners claim that Tinubu was not elected by majority of lawful votes cast.
INEC insisted that Obi cannot be returned as elected, having not polled majority of the lawful votes cast at the election and also not securing one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all states in the federation and the FCT.
On the issue of party agents in polling units, INEC argued that the Labour Party did not have polling agents in all the polling units across Nigeria as they only submitted a list of 134, 874 polling agents which are 41, 972 short of the 176, 846 polling units across Nigeria.