Some few days ahead, Nigerians are expected to tangle with the reality of 2023 presidential election and know the real owner of the mandate being contested by the aggrieved presidential candidates against the incumbent President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Ahead of Tribunal final verdict, there is need to do a synopsis of what transpired at the presidential election petition tribunal to enable us compare notes and prepare for what is likely to become the final judgement of of the PEPC.
Without equivocation, I can confidently assert that all petitions filed by the appellants (APM, PDP and LP) against the respondents (Tinubu, APC and INEC) are going to be dismissed for lack of evidences and deligent persecutions.
To begin with, APM petition against the respondents can only be described as frivolous and constitute crass abuse of Court process. The petition wasn’t only needless but very disgusting and time wasting as the main prayer sought to achieve in the petition had long been resolved at the Supreme Court sometimes early this year. By standard ethical practice, the petition shouldn’t have been filed in the first instance and ought to have been withdrawn. Having failed to withdraw the petition and back out of the appeal, APM’s petition shall be dismissed for being frivolous in nature and made to incur possible huge cost.
In the same connection, the petition from Atiku/PDP against the President is equally trifle, piddle and wantonly lacking in merit and substance. Rather than focusing on how Atiku won the last presidential election, the appellants through their legal team frivolously alleging fake documents presented by President Tinubu to contest election which Atiku and PDP failed woefully to prove at the petition Court.
Against serial, fictitious documents the appellants sought apparently via the internet to argue their petitions before the tribunal, the respondents (Tinubu, APC and INEC) were able to counter such a dubious move and diligently destroyed Atiku’s case with the presentations of original certified true copies of President Tinubu’s credentials from Chicago State University including a clean bill of attestation that exonerates President Tinubu from criminal charges from American Embassy in Nigeria and the recently approved Visa card by American government.
These are the fundamentals the respondents required to prove and defend their cases before the petition Court. With these clear but undisputable evidences provided by the respondents against PDP who failed to establish how the presidential election was rigged against Atiku would have lost the legal battle to the respondents and no one should expect anything short of dismissal of Atiku’s petition with possible bogus cost.
Labour Party’s petition is the most irritating and frivolous of them all. Peter Obi’s persistent cries over imaginary stolen mandate wasn’t only deceitful but outrightly bizarre and misleading. The petition filed by LP and Peter Obi in all its entirety was roguery and mischievous.
According to official results from INEC, President Tinubu in the last presidential election scored 8.79 million votes to beat Atiku who scored 6.9 million votes to second position. In a closed contest, Peter Obi was defeated to a distant third with 6.10 million votes. For a candidate alleging stolen of imaginary mandate is expected to have proven how he won the election with exact higher figured scored to emerge winner in the presidential election. While the proceedings lasted at the PEPC, there was no instance where LP/Peter Obi categorically mentioned the exact figures scored by Peter Obi to prove the allegation of a stolen mandate.
For Peter Obi to have proclaimed himself the winner of 2023 presidential election ought to have proven how he scored above 8.79 million votes which he failed woefully to establish at the petition Court. A petitioner that failed to provide exact figures scored in an election cannot expect to be declared winner by any sense of logic and legal expositions.
Unlike Mmesoma Ojikeme who managed to cook up fictitious figures through her self-designed result sheet to claim the highest scorer in 2023 JAMB examinations, Peter Obi through his legal team failed to come up with precise figures scored by Peter Obi to become the winner of the presidential election, and indeed failed to inform the Court how Peter Obi defeated Atiku Abubakar let alone President Tinubu. Yet, Peter Obi wanted the planet world to believe he had a stolen mandate he never actually had and prove at the tribunal.
He who alleges is expected to prove and beyond conviction. Court is neither a computer machine that generates figures for candidates nor a magical, legal entity that helps political parties to manufacture scores. Court is led by facts and glaring evidences but not by fables, notional and unfathomable illusions under which Peter Obi and his followers have been encapsulated.
Another salient legal contest that worth mentioning is the controversial 25% in Federal Capital Territory as being contested by Peter Obi is absolutely diversionary. There is no constitutional provisions that mandate a presidential candidate to score 25% in FCT before he/she could be declared winner in presidential election. What the law stipulates without ambiguity of any sort is 25% in 2/3 of the federation of which FCT is inclusive.
A presidential candidate don’t necessarily need to score 25% in FCT before he could be declared winner having met the required mandatory 25% in 2/3 (24 States) as expressly stipulated in the constitution. It is ridiculous to expect a candidate who won majority votes with 25% in 29 States not to be declared winner on the premise of not securing 25% in FCT. Electorates in FCT couldn’t have been special and superior to other electorates in other parts of the federation. Therefore, those hinging their arguments on unfounded, parlours notion of mandatory 25% in FCT are either clueless of the Constitution or pathological mischievous.
On the issue hovering on BVAS/IREV is equally unfounded as the Supreme Court had already ruled that the primary source of election results is through “Manual Collation” but not through “Electronic Transmission” as being wrongly contended by Peter Obi, Atiku and their uninformed followers. The landmark JUDGEMENT recently delivered in Ademola Adeleke VS Gboyega Oyetola in Osun gubernatorial election where the Supreme Court upheld that “Manual Collation is the primary source of electoral results recognized by Nigerian Constitution against the imperative of IREV and BVAS the Apex Court downplayed to the discretion of electoral umpire.” Therefore, the judgment already decided in favour PDP in Osun state by the Apex Court cannot be challenged by either PDP or Labour party in any Court of competent jurisdiction in Nigeria. Every judgement of the Supreme Court is meant to be Supreme and so remains unchallengeable.
From all indications, none of the petitioners could have been able to establish convincing cases of rigging against the respondents as they all failed woefully to diligently prosecute their petitions to logical conclusions. The appellants (PDP and LP) in their separate frivolous petitions failed all together to prove how they won the presidential election they are dubiously contesting; how the respondents (Tinubu and APC) rigged them out of 2023 presidential poll, why the tribunal should declare them winners of the presidential race, and why President Tinubu shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy a popular mandate freely given to him by Nigerian electorates.
Judicial pronouncements are not delivered on the premise of public sentiments, neither the much anticipated judgments from the PEPC are going to be swayed by emotional dispositions mostly from the oppositions. Court judgements are delivered on the basis of facts and undisputable evidences that petitioners failed to avail the tribunal.
Without equivocation, it is trite to conclude that lack of deligent persecutions couldn’t but rendered the petitions of APM, PDP and LP as bizarre allegations informed by erroneous mental representations. Unfortunately, Court don’t harbour illusion, heresay and heterodoxy. Since the petitioners have failed to prosecute their cases diligently, tribunal shall proceed to dismiss all petitions before it accordingly and possibly disqualified Peter Obi from ever qualified to participate in 2023 presidential election with possible heavy costs.
In the end, President Tinubu wins and stays on power while the rest of the petitioners return home with heavy hearts, big loss and greater disappointments.
Public Affairs Analyst.