The Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPT) on Wednesday dismissed the petition filed by the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, challenging the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the February 25 election.
In a lead judgment read by Justice Abba Bello Mohammed, the PEPT held that the LP failed to specify how it scored the majority of lawful votes in the election. The court also said the party made generic allegations of irregularities, suppression of votes and corrupt practices without providing any evidence to support its claims.
“The petitioner failed to prove the essential ingredients of its petition,” Justice Mohammed said. “The petition is hereby dismissed.”
The LP had argued that the election was marred by irregularities, including ballot box stuffing, vote buying and intimidation of voters. The party also alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not properly conduct the election.
However, the PEPT found that the LP failed to provide any evidence to support its claims. The court also said the party did not specify the polling units where the alleged irregularities took place.
The dismissal of the LP’s petition is a major setback for the party and its supporters. Obi had been seen as a potential challenger to Tinubu in the election, but the PEPT’s ruling has effectively ended his chances of becoming president.
The ruling is also a blow to the opposition in Nigeria. The PDP, the main opposition party, also filed a petition challenging Tinubu’s victory, but that petition is still pending.
The PEPT’s ruling is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court. However, it is unclear whether the Supreme Court will overturn the ruling.