President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima have urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the appeal filed by the Labour Party (LP) and its candidate, Peter Obi, against the September 6 judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the tribunal had dismissed the petition by the Labour Party for lack of merit. However, the party and its presidential candidate went ahead to appeal the judgement at the Supreme Court.
Reacting in a joint respondents’ brief filed by their team of lawyers, led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Tinubu and Shettima described Obi’s petition as a “jamboree” and a “fishing expedition.”
They argued that the petition was “more of evocation of thunder without dews” and that it was “prosecuted more in the media than in the courtroom.”
The respondents also argued that the PEPC was right to have struck some paragraphs of the petition and the petitioners’ replies to the respondents’ replies with which they (petitioners) had attempted to amend their case in violation of the provisional of Section 16(1)(a) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act 2022.
They stated that the PEPC took the right decision in striking out the written statements of 10 out of the 13 witnesses called by the petitioners and expunging their evidence from the court’s records on the grounds that the statements were not filed along with the petition as required.
On the appellants’ claim that Shettima had the double nomination, both respondents urged the court to reaffirm its earlier judgment on the issue in the case marked: SC/CV/502/2023 – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) v. INEC & 3 others delivered on May 26, 2023.
They argued that the whole issue about Shettima’s nomination as the vice presidential candidate is entirely an intra-party issue in respect of which the PEPC rightly held that it lacked the jurisdiction to entertain because Obi and the LP lacked the locus standi.
The 2nd and 3rd respondents described the introduction of the US forfeiture case in the petition as a failed attempt to embarrass Tinubu and urged the Supreme Court to affirm the tribunal’s finding on this issue that the petitioners failed to prove their claim.
On the argument by Obi and the LP that INEC failed to comply with relevant laws by not transmitting results electronically, they urged the court to also affirm the well-considered position of the PEPC on this issue.
They said, “A major basis for appellants’ allegation of non-compliance with respect to the presidential election of the 25th February 2023, is their complaint that the results of the election were not electronically transmitted to the IREV in real time (not that it was not transmitted at all) and that the 1st respondent did not ensure that the results were collated on the IREV.
“It was their submission before the lower court that the result ought to have been collated electronically on the IREV, and that omitting to do this automatically nullified the result of the election.
Tinubu and Shettima, therefore, urged the Supreme Court to dismiss Obi’s appeal as lacking in merit, substance, and good faith.