President Bola Tinubu has appealed to justices of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PREPEC) in Abuja to exclude the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, in the event of any rerun presidential election, claiming that only he and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, are constitutionally qualified to recontest.
Tinubu argued that if the justices void the February 25, 2023, presidential election, Obi and his party will not be qualified to re-contest.
Tinubu faulted both Obi and LP for asking the court to cancel the election and compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh poll in which he (Tinubu), Shettima, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) would not participate.
He argued that should the relief be granted, Obi and LP would not derive any benefit, as they have been constitutionally barred from contesting the rerun election. President Tinubu’s arguments were contained in his final written address in response to the petition of Obi and the LP challenging his declaration as president.
Tinubu in his final written address to the petition by Obi and LP, which was filed by his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), submitted that the evidence tendered by the petitioners failed to prove claims of non-compliance and corruption capable of voiding his election.
“In the very unlikely event that the election of February 25, 2023, is voided, the only candidates constitutionally prescribed to contest any subsequent election shall be the 2nd respondent and the candidate of the PDP who came second, by scoring the next majority of votes in the highest number of states (19 states), to the 1st petitioner’s 16 states, and also coming second by a plurality of votes, having scored 6,984,520, far and above 1st petitioner’s 6,101,533 votes.
“In effect, the petitioners have no locus standi to ask for relief 2, both constitutionally and legally; constitutionally, because he is barred from contesting; legally, because he has no benefit to derive from the said relief, assuming it is granted”, he said.