The Independent National Electoral Commission has requested that all petitions contesting the proclamation of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the February 25 presidential election be dismissed by the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja.
According to INEC, Tinubu received 8,794,726 votes to win the election.
The commission revealed that Peter Obi of the Labour Party received 6,101,533 votes, placing him second behind Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, who received 6,984,520 votes.
However, Atiku, Obi, and a few other parties disapproved with the INEC’s results and petitioned the tribunal to declare the election invalid.
In addition to INEC, all of the opposition groups contesting Tinubu’s win joined forces with them.
Using a team of attorneys under the direction of A. B. Mahmoud (SAN), INEC defended the numerous petitions by describing Atiku’s as “grossly incompetent, vague, and academic, saying it was an abuse of the court process.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) confirmed that Tinubu was duly declared the winner and returned as the President-elect after receiving at least one-fourth of the valid votes cast in 29 states, which is more than the constitutionally required threshold of 24 states.
The FCT “has the status of a state and ought to be recognized as one of the states of the federation,” according to INEC’s argument on Tinubu’s failure to win the FCT under the terms of the 1999 Constitution.
Given that Tinubu “scored highest valid votes cast at the election and at least 25% of the votes cast in not less than two-thirds of the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja,” INEC insisted that it proclaim him the election’s victor.
“The 1st respondent pleads and shall at the trial of this suit rely on all the Electoral Forms including but not limited to Forms ECSA, BCSB, ECSC, ECSD and ECBE used in the course of the Presidential Election held on the 25th day of February 2023,” INEC stated.
“With the exception of being the capital of Nigeria, the FCT does not hold any unique status that would make it necessary for a presidential contender to receive at least 25% of the votes cast in the FCT in order to be proclaimed the victor of the election.
At the trial of this lawsuit, the first respondent will also argue that the FCT is considered to be the 37th state of the federation and that, as a result, a candidate must get 25% of the legitimate votes cast in at least two-thirds of the 37 states to be proclaimed the winner.
The first respondent asserts that the second respondent received 25% of the legal votes in the 29 federated nations mentioned above.
Atiku’s case was addressed by INEC, who informed the tribunal that the PDP candidate could not have been declared victorious since he did not get at least one-quarter of the votes cast in at least two-thirds of the 36 federation-wide states.
Additionally, INEC stated that the election was run mostly in accordance with the Electoral Act.
The first respondent also asserts that it faithfully carried out its obligations in accordance with the law and regulations in effect when it calculated the first petitioner’s election results, which total 6,984, 520, with just 21 states (Adamawa, Akwa lbom, Bauchi, and 83) winning. Delta Bomo. Nasarawa, Niger, Osun, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara. Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, and Kwam.
The first respondent asserts that the petitioners, who on the one hand claimed various irregularities and noncompliance in the conduct of the election, conveniently accepted the validity of their scores as announced by the first respondent, upon which they have prayed that the first petitioner be declared the winner of the election and sworn in as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having ostensibly received the majority of the votes cast.
The electoral board said that by using the BVAS gadget to execute voter accreditation electronically and upload scanned copies of polling unit election results to the IRev portal, it met its pledge to Nigerians to “conduct free, fair, transparent and credible elections.”
In addition, INEC said that the Electoral Act does not require the posting of election results to the lReV portal before the winner of an election is declared.
Before selecting or announcing the winner of the presidential election, the first respondent is not required by the Act to transfer the results to the IRev site.
The first reply adds that it had all of the actual hard copies of the result sheets on hand, which it used to compile and tally the candidates’ scores. It adds that the result sheets were posted to the IRev portal via its e-transmission technology.
“In additional response to paragraph 21 of the petition, the first respondent claims that the BVAS device was nevertheless a game-changer notwithstanding the technical difficulties encountered on the day of the presidential election.
According to the first respondent, “The first respondent denies that it prescribed or established a system to electronically transfer or transmit the results and the accreditation data from polling units to an electronic collation system.”
The All Progressives Congress, Tinubu’s political party, has also asked the tribunal to reject the multiple petitions contesting the election’s results.
A forfeiture lawsuit against Tinubu in the US was one of the reasons given by his opponents as to why they believed he was ineligible to run for president.
But in response, the APC said that many of the assertions made by the opposition parties were hazy, phony, and conjectural.
The APC acknowledged that Tinubu forfeited $460,000 to the US government, but it denied that the incoming president had been found guilty of a crime.
“The second respondent (Tinubu) was never at any time fined the sum of $460,000.00 for an offense involving dishonesty or any other offense in this court’s jurisdiction,”
Account 263226700 owned by First Heritage Bank in Bola Tinubu’s name v. United States of America, it read.
In its defense, it claimed that Tinubu “was never made a party in the said case No: 93C4483 between United States of America V Funds in Account 263226700 held by First Heritage Bank in the name of Bola Tinubu & 2 Ors.”
It declared that the aforementioned situation was not one that could have led to a criminal conviction.
Rather, the party contended that it was a civil forfeiture case against the monies in various accounts formed in Tinubu’s name.
The APC reported that the American Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria, had found no evidence of any criminal arrests, warrants, or convictions involving the second respondent.
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