The President-elect, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has raised objections to the petitions filed by the Labour Party (LP) and its candidate, Peter Obi, as well as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, seeking to nullify his election victory. Tinubu, along with his Vice-President-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima, has filed a preliminary objection challenging the legal competence of the petitions and asserting that Obi and Atiku lack the locus standing to file such petitions.
Tinubu argued that Obi was not validly nominated to contest the presidential election as per the mandatory provisions of sections 77(2) and (3) of the Electoral Act, 2022. He maintained that Obi’s name was not found on the register of members of the LP, and that he defected to the party from the PDP less than 30 days before the primary election that produced him as a presidential candidate.
Furthermore, Tinubu highlighted his own qualifications and experience, stating that he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Administration from the Chicago State University since 1979 and has vast private and public sector work experience, including working as an auditor and treasurer at Mobil Oil Nigeria.
Tinubu dismissed Obi’s petition as “guesswork, hype, speculation and conjecture” and accused him of jumping from one political party to another, asserting that the LP lacked the structure to win the presidential contest. He also denied the allegations of irregularities in the election and accused Obi of accepting the outcome of the election in states where he won and denigrating results from states he lost.
In his preliminary objection, Tinubu described Atiku Abubakar as a consistent serial loser who has been contesting and losing successive presidential elections in Nigeria since 1993. He accused Atiku of crisscrossing different political parties in search of power and claimed that his emergence as a candidate in the presidential election led to the “Balkanisation” of the opposition PDP.
Tinubu asserted that it was not surprising that Atiku lost the presidential election held on February 25, 2023, and prayed the court to dismiss Atiku’s petition. He further stated that he would lead evidence during the hearing of the petition to demonstrate Atiku’s history of electoral defeats.