“There’s no constitutional requirement that made it mandatory for INEC to transmit election results electronically or through iREV”
The Presidential Election Petitions Court declared on Wednesday that the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential nominee, Peter Obi, were unable to substantiate their claims that President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had been convicted of money laundering in the United States.
The verdict, delivered by a five-member panel presided over by Justice Haruna Tsammani, emphasized the absence of any documented evidence of criminal arrest or conviction against Tinubu, as asserted by the petitioners, Obi and the LP.
The court maintained that both President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettma were eligible to participate in the recent presidential election.
Regarding Tinubu, it ruled that the fine imposed on him by a United States court, stemming from a civil forfeiture proceeding, did not disqualify him. The court clarified that this fine didn’t meet the criteria for disqualification outlined in Section 137(1)(d) of the Constitution, which pertains to fines for fraud or dishonesty.
Furthermore, the court emphasized that the petitioners failed to substantiate their claim that Tinubu’s disqualification was due to the US court’s decision. It was noted that Obi and the LP did not follow the requirements of Section 249(1) and (2) of the Evidence Act when attempting to prove a foreign conviction.
Additionally, the court pointed out that the US court case was a civil matter, not a criminal one. Even if it were a criminal case, the Constitution’s Section 137(1)(e) stipulates that a conviction or fine must occur within a 10-year timeframe for disqualification.
Regarding Vice President Shettima, the court upheld its decision in the APM’s petition, confirming that Shettima’s double nomination did not disqualify him from running in the election.
Furthermore, the Tribunal dismissed the LP/Obi Petition, as it fell short of the 25 percent requirement necessary to secure victory in the presidential election. The court also addressed the petitioners’ assertion that residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) possessed special privileges, ruling against this claim.
To sum up, the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, were unable to substantiate their allegations of President Bola Tinubu’s money laundering conviction, leading to a pivotal judgment by the Presidential Election Petitions Court.
The court has ruled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) possesses the authority to determine the method for transmitting election results. This decision holds substantial implications for future elections, as it underscores INEC’s discretionary power in shaping the electoral process.
“There’s no constitutional requirement that made it mandatory for INEC to transmit election results electronically or through iREV,” PEPC stated.