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Wed, Sep 6, 2023 9:45 PM

Presidential Election Tribunal Strikes Out Paragraphs in Obi's Petition

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Presidential Election Tribunal Strikes Out Paragraphs in Obi's Petition
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has struck out paragraphs containing allegations of irregularities and corrupt practices in Peter Obi's petition challenging Bola Tinubu's victory in the presidential election. The tribunal ruled that the allegations were vague and failed to meet the requirements of pleadings. It also criticized the lack of specificity in identifying the polling units where irregularities were alleged to have occurred.

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, has struck out several paragraphs in Peter Obi's petition challenging the victory of Bola Tinubu in the February 25 presidential election. The tribunal, consisting of five judges, ruled that the allegations of irregularities and corrupt practices were too vague and failed to meet the requirements of pleadings.

In the lead judgment read by Justice Abba Mohammed, the tribunal emphasized that "averments" in a petition must provide specific details rather than general allegations. This requirement ensures that respondents are adequately informed of the facts to prepare their defense.

The tribunal highlighted that the petitioners failed to specify the polling units where the alleged irregularities occurred or where agents complained of malpractices. It observed that the petitioners made generic allegations without providing specific instances of irregularities and malpractices.

Furthermore, the tribunal noted that the petitioners did not cite any polling units where election results were supposedly not uploaded or where scores were manipulated in favor of Tinubu. The lack of specificity in such critical claims raised doubts about the credibility of the allegations.

Justice Mohammed described it as unimaginable that a petitioner would allege widespread rigging without stating the specific places where the alleged irregularities occurred. With over 176,000 polling units, 8,000 wards, 774 LGAs, and 36 states, the lack of specificity undermined the validity of the petition.

The tribunal also criticized the petitioners for failing to serve the respondents with spreadsheet analysis, inspection results, and experts reports. These documents were merely listed as evidence without being provided to the respondents, depriving them of the opportunity to analyze and respond accordingly.

While the petitioners claimed malpractices in over 500 polling units, the tribunal concluded that the lack of specificity and failure to provide concrete evidence undermined the credibility of the allegations. Without proper documentation and specific details, the petitioners could not substantiate their claims.

The decision by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to strike out these paragraphs of the petition highlights the importance of clear and specific allegations in legal proceedings. Justice Mohammed's ruling emphasizes the obligation of petitioners to provide specific details and evidence to support their claims. Failure to meet these requirements can weaken the credibility of the petition and undermine its chances of success.

It remains to be seen how this ruling will impact the overall outcome of the petition and whether the petitioners will seek to rectify the shortcomings identified by the tribunal. As the legal battle continues, Nigeria eagerly awaits the resolution of the presidential election dispute and the final verdict of the court.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-06 News

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