In a dramatic turn of events at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima have presented compelling evidence to dispute Peter Obi’s claim of being a registered member of the Labour Party (LP). The move comes as a significant development in the ongoing legal battle over the declaration of winners in the February 25 presidential election. The evidence, submitted in the form of the LP membership register and a letter from the party, aims to prove that Obi was ineligible to contest the election under the LP.
Tinubu and Shettima’s Defense:
During the defense proceedings at the Tribunal, President Tinubu’s legal representative, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), submitted the LP membership register for Anambra State, along with a supporting letter from the party addressed to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). According to their arguments, Obi allegedly resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on May 26, 2022, only to join the Labour Party on May 27, 2022, just days before the LP’s presidential primary election on May 30, 2022.
Citing Section 77(3) of the Electoral Act, the counsel for Tinubu and Shettima emphasized that political parties are obliged to submit their comprehensive register of members to INEC 30 days before their presidential primary. Therefore, the LP’s register should have been submitted to INEC on or before April 30, 2022. They contend that as of that date, Peter Obi was still a member of the PDP, and his name was not included in the register of LP members submitted to INEC.
In response, Obi’s counsel argued that their client was indeed a member of the PDP when he contested the presidential election under the Labour Party. However, objections raised by the petitioners’ lawyer, Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), did not prevent the court from admitting the documents presented by Tinubu’s legal team as Exhibits RA17 and RA18.
Implications and Future Proceedings:
This recent evidence presented by President Tinubu and Vice President Shettima challenges Peter Obi’s claim to membership in the Labour Party and raises crucial questions about his eligibility to contest the presidential election under that party’s banner. The admission of the LP membership register and the party’s letter as exhibits by the court indicates their relevance to the ongoing legal proceedings. As the Tribunal continues to evaluate the evidence, it remains to be seen how this development will impact the final outcome of the case.
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has witnessed a significant twist as President Tinubu and Vice President Shettima provide evidence contesting Peter Obi’s membership in the Labour Party. This development brings into question Obi’s eligibility to contest the presidential election under the LP. As the legal battle unfolds, the Tribunal will diligently evaluate the evidence presented, aiming to reach a just and fair resolution. The final verdict will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for the parties involved and the overall political landscape.
Source: The Gurdian
Our Twitter Page