The All Progressives Congress has described the petition of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party as meaningless. The APC urged the presidential election petitions tribunal to dismiss their allegations.
APC flag bearer Bola Tinubu was declared the winner of the February 25 presidential election.
The ruling party, the fourth respondent, urged the tribunal to reject the petition in its notice of preliminary objection marked CA/PEPC/A/05/2023, noting that the court has no jurisdiction to adjudicate on the petitioners’ allegation predicated on ground (D) in paragraph 16 of the petition and the related paragraph 146, which lacks necessary facts or particulars as required by paragraph 4 (1)(d) of the rules of procedure for election petitions ( 1st Schedule to the electoral Act 2022.
”The petitioners’ paragraph 146 in support of ground four on non-qualification is vague, bare and meaningless as having the constitutional threshold is not part of the requirement to contest any election,” APC said.
APC said allegations of non-compliance must be made distinctly and proved on a polling unit basis. The party also added that the petitioners did not provide the particulars of polling units where any irregularity or non-compliance occurred.
”The petition, as presently constituted, is devoid of necessary particulars to support allegations of corrupt practices, violence and non-compliance with provisions of the electoral act,” it further noted. “Paragraph 35 of the petition is not relevant or cognisable, and 84 is vague as no specific figure or polling units are pleaded as the margin of lead to be countered by the respondent.”
APC, therefore, urged the tribunal to dismiss or strike out Mr Abubakar and PDP’s petition for lack of merit.
Mr Abubakar and PDP, in the petition dated March 21, claimed that Mr Tinubu’s victory resulted from alleged malpractices and other irregularities, upon which they are seeking the nullification of his victory.
Respondents in the petition marked CA/PEPC/05/2023 are the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr Tinubu and the APC as first, second and third, respectively.
The petition is based on four major grounds, amongst which are that the election of the second respondent is invalid because of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, including that the election of Mr Tinubu is invalid because of corrupt practices.
Thirdly, Mr Tinubu was not duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast at the election. Fourthly, the second respondent was not qualified to contest the election at the time of the election.
INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu after the collation of the presidential election, declared Mr Tinubu, the winner after securing the majority of votes cast at the poll.
Mr Atiku came second, and Peter Obi (Labour Party) third in the presidential poll.
According to INEC, Mr Tinubu met the constitutional benchmark of scoring 25 per cent in two-thirds of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.