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Cancel presidential election, order conduct of new one, Peter Obi urges Tribunal

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.’Tinubu failed to secure 25% in the FCT, shouldn’t be declared president-elect’

.Jagaban condemns election violence, calls for healing

.Your call for reconciliation smacks of hypocrisy, Atiku tackles him

.Demands arrest of MC Oluomo before peace talks

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Obiora Ifoh and Chigozie Ikpo, Abuja

 

The Legal battle over the outcome of the February 25 Presidential Election has officially begun, with aggrieved political parties filling individual petitions challenging the election results, which saw Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress APC, declared winner.

 

Three political parties and their candidates, out of the 18 political parties that participated in the election have filled their petitions at the Election Petition Tribunal.

 

These aggrieved parties are the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi; Action Alliance (AA) and its presidential candidate Mr Solomon Okangbuan, and Allied People’s Movement (APM) and its presidential candidate, Princess Chichi Ojei.

 

In the separate suits marked CA/PEPC/01/2023; CA/PEPC/03/2023 and CA/PEPC/04/2023; Obi, Okangbuan and Ojei, are respectively challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential election on grounds of substantial non-compliance with the electoral laws as well as the guidelines of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

 

The petitioners alleged that the February 25 presidential election was characterized by huge irregularities and electoral malpractices following INEC’s failure to electronically upload results immediately from its polling units to the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IREV).

 

While INEC is the 1st respondent, Tinubu, his Vice-president elect, Kasheem Shetima and the APC are 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively.

 

Besides non-compliance, Obi and LP in their petition are claiming that at the time of the presidential election held on February 25, 2023 Tinubu and Shettima were not qualified to contest the election.

 

“That it be determined that all the votes recorded for the 2nd respondent in the election are wasted votes owing to the non- qualification/ disqualification of 2,3 respondents.

 

“That it be determined that on the basis of the remaining votes after discountenancing the votes credited to the 2,3 respondents the 1st petitioner scored a majority of the lawful votes cast at the election and had not less than 25% in each of at least 2/3 of the States of the Federation and the Federal capital Territory, Abuja and satisfied the constitutional requirements to be declared the winner of February 25, 2023 Presidential Election.

 

“That it be determined that 2nd respondent having failed to score one quarter of the votes cast at the presidential election in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja was not entitled to be declared and returned as the winner of the presidential election held on Saturday February 25, 2023”, the submitted.

 

Besides seeking that he be declared winner of the election on grounds that he is the authentic winner of the presidential election, Obi in an alternative prayer asked the tribunal to cancel the entire election and ordered INEC to conduct a fresh poll.

 

INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, had on March 1 declared Tinubu president-elect having scored the highest number of votes cast at the poll.

 

In the results announced Tinubu polled 8,805,835 votes to emerge victorious.

 

Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who came second scored 6,984,640 votes, while Obi scored 6,101,533 votes.

 

Meanwhile, Jagaban condemns election violence, calls for healing President-elect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has condemned the violence reported in the 2023 general elections and called  for healing and reconciliation in the country.

 

Tinubu disclosed this in a statement released on Tuesday and urged Nigerians to rise above their differences and work together for the betterment of the country.

The former Lagos State governor said: “I’m saddened by the reported isolated infractions during the elections and its aftermath in some states. I strongly condemn it. Also, the report of arson after the announcement of governorship results in one state did not represent who we truly are: peace-loving people.

 

“The physical and verbal assaults committed are unacceptable and antithetical to democratic ethos. Elections should be a celebration of our maturing democracy and freedom of choice and ought not to be moments of grief. I am particularly pained by cases of ethnic slurs, which are capable of creating needless mischaracterization reported in some locations.

“My appeal is for us to rise above our differences, which, in reality, are fewer than the valued strings that bind us together as a people irrespective of the circumstances of our births.”

.Your call for reconciliation smacks of hypocrisy, Atiku tackles him

.Demands arrest of MC Oluomo before peace talks

 

The Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has dismissed Bola Tinubu’s call for healing after a violent election as the height of hypocrisy.

 

He, however, commended the United States Government for condemning the violent and ethnically charged election in Lagos State.

 

Tinubu had in a statement he personally signed said he was saddened by the infractions in some states as well as the divisive rhetoric that characterised the polls.

 

Atiku’s Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, in a statement on Tuesday, however, described Tinubu’s statement as an after-thought and hypocritical garbage.

 

He said it was curious that Tinubu was talking about reconciliation after his minions attacked Igbo voters in Lagos in order to give his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) advantage during the governorship election.

 

Shaibu said Tinubu had continued to protect transport hooligans, politicians and even traditional leaders in Lagos who were seen on video threatening non-indigenes.

 

He said, “Tinubu’s latest statement is laced with hypocrisy and lies. For a whole month, traditional leaders, transport hooligans and politicians in his camp threatened non-indigenes but Tinubu kept mute. His lackey, MC Oluomo, who is a member of his Presidential campaign council, was seen on video threatening Igbo people but Tinubu said nothing. His campaign spokesmen, Bayo Onanuga and Femi Fani-Kayode, went on social media to warn Igbo people against exercising their franchise but Tinubu looked the other way.

 

“Traditional rulers imposed curfews and went about slaughtering goats and placing them in front of polling units but Tinubu said nothing. A traditional leader and council chairman in Gbara community, Eti Osa local government summoned non-indigenes to a meeting where they threatened non-indigenes with eviction if they failed to vote for the APC but Tinubu said nothing. Those invited by the police ignored invitations because Tinubu was shielding them.

 

“On the day of election, many people who looked Igbo were beaten and prevented from voting but Tinubu kept mute. Now that his party has stolen the election, he has found his voice and is preaching reconciliation. He should tell that to the marines. If Tinubu is serious, he should ensure that all those found culpable are arrested and prosecuted. But we know he cannot do this because he is their godfather.”

 

Shaibu also described the statement by the US Embassy in Nigeria condemning the violence meted out to the Igbo as a welcome development.

 

He, however, said the US ought to have gone further by mentioning the names of those found culpable and exposing the identities of those it will hit with visa restrictions.

 

Atiku’s aide added, “We commend the US and the EU governments for condemning the violence and intimidation that marred the governorship election especially in Lagos where Tinubu’s henchmen held the state to ransom.

 

“But the US knows the identities of the perpetrators of violence and ought to have mentioned their names. MC Oluomo is an American citizen. The US must also go further by mentioning the names of others including the traditional rulers in Lagos who were complicit.

 

“The US has in the past openly condemned Vladmir Putin of Russia and others found wanting in other countries. This is not the time for political correctness. Those who will be slammed with visa bans should be named and shamed.”

 

Shaibu maintained that there could be no reconciliation without restitution. He said anything short of this would not heal any wounds.

 

Atiku’s aide further argued that Tinubu had shown from his electioneering that he had no plan to unite Nigeria but was only after one thing – power and the resources of Nigeria.

 

He said, “Tinubu is only after power. Before he took over power, Lagos was known for its urbane and accommodating nature. The late Nnamdi Azikiwe built his political base and business empire in Lagos.

 

“Mbonu Ojike, born in Imo State, was the Deputy Mayor of Lagos in 1951. Many others from around the country and beyond built businesses and political careers in Lagos unmolested. But on Bola Tinubu’s watch, Lagos has become an intolerant state where non-indigenes are openly beaten on election day and threatened with eviction if they don’t vote for his party. Now he seeks reconciliation? What a joke!

 

“There will be no reconciliation until MC Oluomo and all his minions who took part in issuing threats and brutalising people are diligently prosecuted.”

 

 

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