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September 6, 2023

INEC At Liberty To Define Mode Of Transmitting Election Results, Court Rules

By Emmanuel Egobiambu

The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) is set to deliver judgement today. Security is already beefed up ahead of the verdict. 

Nigerians from all walks of life are waiting eagerly to witness the televised live proceedings from the Tribunal venue at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) are challenging President Bola Tinubu’s declaration as the winner of the 2023 presidential election.

02: 41 pm: INEC At Liberty To Define Mode Of Transmitting Election Results – Court

On the issue of substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the law, especially with regard to non-transmission of result sheets to INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV), the court holds that there is no law that says INEC must transfer or transmit the results of the election from the polling units electronically.

The law simply empowers INEC to decide the means of collation of results of elections, the court argued.

02: 26 pm: Obi, LP Failed To Prove Tinubu Was Convicted In US, Tribunal Rules

The Presidential Election Petitions Court on Wednesday ruled that the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, failed to prove that President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was convicted for money laundering in the United States.

The five-man panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani ruled that no record of criminal arrest or conviction was established against Tinubu by the petitioners – Obi and the LP.

02:12 pm: Tribunal dismisses LP/Obi’s Petition on 25 per cent needed to win the presidential election.

According to the court, FCT residents have no special privileges as the petitioners claimed.

1:28 pm: The court has rejected the reports of forensic analyses tendered by LP’s three witnesses. According to the court, they are either made during the pendency of the case or by an interested party.

This is as it rejected the European Union report on the polls, arguing that it was not tendered by an official of the body.

12:31 pm: Tribunal Declares APC’s Petition On Obi’s Membership Incompetent

The Court also declared APC’s petition challenging Obi’s membership of the LP as incompetent. Justice Abba says membership in a political party is an internal affair.

The Tribunal also touched on the issue of non-joinder of Atiku Abubakar who came second and wondered how Obi & LP’s petition could be effectively determined without joining the candidate who placed second in the polls

12: 07 p.m. LP’s Widespread Irregularities Claim Generic – Court 

While highlighting a claim by the respondents that Obi’s petition only alleged that there were widespread irregularities without giving the particulars and the polling units.

Justice Abba Mohammed holds that In a presidential election held in 176,866 polling units in 774 Local Government Areas, it would be improper not to specify where there were irregularities.

According to him, the petitioners only made generic allegations.

“Pleading must set out material facts and particulars. In the instant petition, there was no effort to prove specific allegations, particulars of complaints,” said the Tribunal.

The law is clear that where someone alleges irregularities in a particular polling unit, such person must prove the particular irregularities in that polling unit before that petition can succeed, the Tribunal added.

The court said the petitioners did not prove the particular polling unit where the election did not take place nor did they specify particulars of polling units where there are alleged complainants of irregularities.

“It was only in one instance that figures were given of alleged suppressed votes and we all know that elections are about figures,” it said.

“LP alleged that INEC reduced their scores and added it to APC votes but failed to supply particulars of what they actually scored before the said reductions, neither did they supply the polling units where it happened….”

Channels Inc Ltd

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