The All Progressives Congress (APC) has called for the dismissal of the presidential election petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, against the election of Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the February 25, 2023 presidential poll. In its notice of preliminary objection, the APC asked the presidential election petition court (PEPC) sitting at the Court of Appeal in Abuja to reject the petition, stating that it lacks the necessary particulars to support allegations of corrupt practices, violence, and non-compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act.
The APC, which is the 4th respondent in the case, argued that the tribunal lacks the jurisdiction to adjudicate on the petitioners’ allegations 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. The party said that the petitioners’ paragraph 146 in support of ground four on non-qualification is vague, bare, and meaningless since having the constitutional threshold is not part of the requirement to contest any election.
According to the APC, allegations of non-compliance must be made distinctly and proved on a polling unit basis, and Atiku and PDP did not provide the particulars of polling units where any irregularity or non-compliance took place. The party said that 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.
Atiku and the PDP had claimed in the petition, dated March 21, 2021, that Tinubu’s victory was as a result of alleged malpractices and other irregularities, upon which they are seeking the nullification of his victory. The respondents in the petition are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Tinubu, and the APC as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respondents, respectively. The petition is based on four major grounds, including Tinubu’s alleged non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act and corrupt practices.
The APC has therefore prayed the tribunal to dismiss or strike out the petitioners’ petition for lack of merit. The party argued that the petition does not have the necessary particulars to support the allegations being made by the PDP and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
In conclusion, the APC has urged the tribunal to reject the petition filed by the PDP and Atiku, stating that it is meaningless and devoid of the necessary particulars to support the allegations being made. The tribunal has yet to make a decision on the matter.