THE All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday prayed the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Abuja to dismiss the petition filed by the PDP and its presidential candidate challenging the election of Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the February 25, 2023 polls.
The APC, the 4th respondent, prayed the PEPC to reject the petition in its notice of preliminary objection marked: CA/PEPC/A/05/2023, arguing that the court had 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,” the APC said.
The APC said allegations of non-compliance must be made distinctly and proved on polling unit basis. The party also added that the petitioners did not provide the particulars of polling units where any irregularity or non-compliance took place.
“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.
“Paragraph 35 of the petition is not relevant or cognizable and 84 is vague as no specific figure or polling units are pleaded as the margin of lead to be countered by the respondent,” the APC said.
The APC therefore prayed the tribunal to dismiss or strike out the petitioners’ petition for lack of merit.
Atiku and the PDP in the petition dated March 21, 2023 claimed that Tinubu’s victory was as a result of 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 (INEC), Tinubu and the APC as 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The petition is based on four major grounds amongst which are that Tinubu’s election is invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022. The petition also alleged that the election was invalid because of corrupt practices.
Thirdly, the petition stated that Tinubu was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast at the Election. Fourthly, the petition stated that Tinubu was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the election.
The APC had similarly, in separate filings, urged the court to dismiss other petitions filed by the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, and three other candidates.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, had declared Tinubu winner after securing a majority of votes cast at the poll, Atiku second and Obi third.
Besides, according to INEC, Tinubu met the constitutional benchmark of scoring 25 per cent in two thirds of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. (NAN)