The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says the prayers contained in the petition of the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi are not grantable.
The Commission have asked the presidential election petition tribunal to dismiss their petition.
Last month, Mr Obi and the LP filed a petition challenging the victory of former Lagos state governor, Bola Tinubu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who was declared the president-elect by INEC in the February 25 presidential election.
In Obi and LP’s petition marked CA/PEPC/03/2023 by their lead counsel, Livy Ozoukwu said that the president-elect, Bola Tinubu “was not duly elected by the majority of the lawful votes cast at the time of the election”.
The petition also stated that the vice president-elect, Ibrahim Shettima, was a senatorial candidate in Borno as of when he was nominated by Tinubu—leading to a double nomination in contravention of the electoral act 2022.
They asserted that the election was marred by rigging and manipulations adding that the electoral umpire violated its own regulations when it announced the results when at the time of the announcement, the total polling unit results had yet to be fully scanned, uploaded, and transmitted electronically as required by the electoral act 2022.
INEC in a response filed on Monday through its lawyer, Abubakar Mahmoud, said the prayers sought by the Labour Party and its candidate Mr Obi are not grantable.
The commission prayed the court to either “dismiss or strike out the petition for being grossly incompetent, abusive, vague, nebulous, generic, general, non-specific, ambiguous, equivocal, hypothetical and academic”.
The electoral umpire said that the grounds of the petition are vague.
INEC also discredited the petitioners over the claim that Tinubu was not elected by the majority of lawful votes cast.
The electoral body argued that the petitioners’ prayer to declare that Obi scored the majority of lawful votes cast at the election and be declared winner was defective for failure to join necessary parties and for lack of requisite particulars and pleading to support same.
The commission said Obi cannot be returned as elected, “not having polled majority of the lawful votes cast at the election and /or secured 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 non-representation, INEC said the petitioners did not have polling agents in all the polling units across Nigeria as they only submitted a list of 134, 874 polling agents which is 41, 972 short of the 176, 846 polling units across Nigeria.