The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi has taken the first major step in the process of “reclaiming the people’s mandate as he formally submitted a petition challenging the process leading to the outcome of the Presidential Election held on February 28, 2023.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had controversially announced Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the winner of the election, which was fundamentally flawed at law, not to mention overwhelming allegations of massive manipulations in favour of the ruling party’s candidate.
Chief Spokesman of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign of the Labour Party, Dr. Yunusa Tanko announced the submission of the petition in a short message on Tuesday morning.
He wrote, “It is official the Labor Party Presidential candidate Peter OBI has filed his petition to the presidential elections tribunal in Abuja. The process of reclaiming the people’s mandate has started.”
Obi’s petition was sent inon Tuesday, beating the 21-day deadline that began to count from March 1 when the INEC declared Tinubu winner of the election.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who announced the final results in Abuja around 4.a.m when Nigerians were sleeping, said Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came second in the election.
Atiku polled a total of 6,984,520 votes in the election, according to the results declared by INEC.
Mr Obi of the Labour Party was said to have come thrid with a total of 6,101,533 votes, while Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP got 1,496,687 votes to finish fourth, according to the results declared.
Mr Obi’s legal team which filed the petition is led by Livy Uzoukwu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
The petition, jointly filed by Obi and his party, has INEC, Tinubu, Shettima Kashim, and the APC as the respondents.
In the petition, Obi asked the court to either declare him the winner of order a new election whithout Tinubu and Shettima’s participation becuase both men were not qualified to contest the election – Tinubu having been criminally fined for narcotics dealing and Shettima who was also nominated as a senatorial candidate as at the time he ran for vice president.
He also argued that Mr Tinubu failed to win the majority of the lawful votes cast in the election, and just as he could not secure one-quarter of the mandatory 25% of the votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, as constitutionally stipulated.
He also alleged that the election was not conducted in substantial non-compliance with the provision of the law.