21 Days After Presidential Election, Obi, Atiku File Petitions Challenging Tinubu’s Victory
Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the just concluded general elections Mr Peter Obi, has filed petition before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, alleging gross irregularities in the conduct of the election.
Obi is challenging the victory of Senator Bola Tinubu who was declared winner of the February 25 presidential election.
The Labour Party candidate in the petition sought five prayers which he filed to beat the 21-day deadline that elapsed yesterday.
Principal among the prayers is his call on the court to cancel the 25 February presidential election and order a fresh poll.
The petition, jointly filed by Mr Obi and the Labour Party as co-petitioners, joined the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mrs Tinubu, Shettima Kashim (vice president-elect), and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the respondents.
Tuesday, being the 21st day after the declaration of the results of the election on 1 March, is the last day he and any other aggrieved candidates and political parties had to file their petition in court.
Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC, was declared winner of the presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after he scored over 8 million votes
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.
Obi of the Labour Party came third in the election with a total of 6,101,533 votes, while Rabiu Kwankwaso of NNPP came fourth with 1,496,687 votes. Setting out the grounds for the petition, Mr Obi’s lead lawyer, Livy Ozoukwu said Mr Tinubu “at the time of the (presidential) election was not qualified to contest the election.”
Ozoukwu (SAN), argued that the president-elect “was not duly elected by majority of the lawful votes cast at the time of the election.
The senior lawyer led Atiku’s legal team when the former vice president unsuccessfully challenged the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Similarly, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, formally filed his petition challenging the declaration of Senator Bola Tinubu as the president-elect.
In the petition dated March 20, 2023 and filed on March 21, with appeal number CA/PEPT/05/2023, Abubakar is praying the tribunal to nullify the declaration of Bola Tinubu as the president-elect.
INEC declared Tinubu as the winner of the election while Abubakar came second and Peter Obi of the Labour party came third.
NASS Management Plans Two-Week Induction Of Lawmakers-Elect In May
The Management of the National Assembly has scheduled dates for the induction of the members-elect of the 10th Assembly ahead of the inauguration in June 2023.
This comes after the conclusion of the February 25 federal legislative elections, and the formal release of the authentic list of senators- and members-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The management’s Secretary, Research and Information, Ali Barde Umoru, who doubles as the Chairman, Sub-Committee on Media and Publicity, in a statement on Thursday, noted that it is fully prepared for the exercise.
According to Umoru, the induction will be undertaken in conjunction with the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic studies (NILDS).
The Induction programme, which will be held in two batches, is scheduled to commence from the 7th to 13th of May 2023 with Batch A, while Batch ‘’B’’ will hold from May 14th to May 20th , 2023,” he said.
“The objectives of the Induction/Inauguration exercise is to expose Members-Elect to the functions of the National Assembly, its Practices and Procedures as well as the services available to them.”
The secretary added that the Management led by the Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Sani Magaji Tambawal, had constituted a Central Planning Committee (CPC) as part of the efforts to ensure a successful exercise.
The committee is also made up of all the secretaries in the National Assembly Service as well as the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) and NILDS.
Supplementary Elections: Voting Begins In Kebbi, Adamawa, 22 Other States
Voting has commenced in Kebbi, Adamawa and 22 other states where supplementary elections were scheduled to hold today.
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), supplementary elections hold today in 2,660 polling units in 185 Local Government Areas (LGAs) across 24 states of the Federation.
Channels Television correspondent at Karyo/ Umijin Nana/Baban Dutsi polling unit of Maurida ward in the Birnin-Kebbi Local Government Area of Kebbi State observed that voting has commenced.
The Baban Dutsi model primary school host three polling units of Karyo/ Umijin Nana/Baban Dutsi. Over voting was the reason for cancellation of votes in this polling unit.
Also, supplementary elections have commenced in Rivers State in Port Harcourt Federal Constituency Two and Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency.
In Port Harcourt Federal Constituency Two, elections hold in Ward 5, and Wards 10 to 18 in a total of 377 polling units. In Khana/Gokana, elections hold in Wards 4 and 7 of Khana Local Government Area. The number of polling units affected in Khana is 42.
INEC had during the February 25 and March 18 elections declared some governorship, National Assembly and state assemblies’ polls inconclusive and directed a rerun.
Widespread violence and voter suppression had marred the February 25 and March 18 polls, especially in states like Lagos, Rivers, amongst others as thugs unleashed terror on voters at polling units, fuelling voters’ apathy.
In the Adamawa governorship poll, the incumbent Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 421,524, while the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Aishatu Dahiru, scored 390,275.
However, INEC state collation officer, Prof Muhammadu Mele of the University of Maiduguri, declared the election inconclusive due to the margin of votes.
Similarly, in Kebbi, the APC polled 388,258 votes as against the PDP’s 342,980, leading the INEC Returning Officer in the governorship election, Professor Yusuf Sa’idu, to declare the election inconclusive.
He said violence, destruction of election materials, disruption of electoral proceedings, and over-voting played a role in the decision.
With both governorship elections having been declared inconclusive, all eyes will be on the two states, each of which has 20 local government areas (LGAs) participating in the second round of polling.
For Adamawa, voting is expected to hold in 69 polling units (PUs) comprising 37,706 eligible voters, while in Kebbi, 142 affected PUs with 94,209 voters will participate.
Conversely, there are supplementary elections for five senatorial seats: Kebbi North, Sokoto East, Sokoto North, Sokoto South, and Zamfara Central.
In Kebbi North, a total of 13,243 voters in 23 PUs are eligible to participate in the exercise. In Sokoto East, there are 87,138 eligible voters in 169 PUs. Sokoto North has 115,266 eligible voters in 185 PUs, and Sokoto South has 85,022 collected PVCs across 156 PUs. In Zamfara Central, there are 83 PUs affected, comprising eligible 47,227 voters.
Likewise, House of Representatives polls hold in a total of 31 constituencies across 15 states, namely Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Edo, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Kogi, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, and Zamfara.
As for the state House of Assembly elections, a total of 59 constituencies in 17 states are involved. They are Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Ogun, Taraba, and Yobe.
Ododo Emerges APC Governorship Candidate In Kogi
Alhaji Ahmed Ododo has emerged as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Kogi State.
According to the Secretary of the Kogi APC Primary Election Committee, Patrick Obahiagha, Ododo scored 78, 704 votes to beat six other contestants.
Obahiagha, who announced the result of the governorship primary on Friday in Lokoja, said Salami Momodu got 1,506 votes, Abubakar Yahaya-Ashemogu, 1,159, and Shaaibu Abubakar-Audu, 763 votes.
He added that Stephen Ocheni garnered 552 votes, Sanusi Ohiere, 424, and Smart Adeyemi 311 votes.
Obahiagha said that out of the 93,729 voters, 83,419 who were accredited, voted for candidates of their choice.
“Ododo, having scored the majority of the lawful votes cast at the direct primary election conducted on April 14, 2023, in Kogi, is hereby declared the winner of the APC primary election 2023.
“Ahmed Usman-Ododo is hereby returned as the duly elected governorship candidate of APC for the November 2023 governorship election,” he said.
Obahiagha congratulated party leaders and members for the peaceful primary election.
The committee secretary also thanked Gov. Yahaya Bello, for making the democratic process possible.