The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the Presidential Election Petition tribunal to dismiss the petition filed by the Labour Party and its Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi, against the emergence of Bola Tinubu as president-elect in the 25th February 2023 presidential election.
The APC in its notice of preliminary objection asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition with substantial cost for lacking in merit and been frivolous.
The Labour Party and it presidential candidate Obi, had sued INEC, Bola Tinubu, Kashim Shettima and APC as 1st to 4th respondents respectively.
The petitioners are seeking the nullification of the election victory of Mr Tinubu and Mr Shettima in the February 25 presidential poll.
Presidential candidate of the PDP Atiku Abubakar is also challenging the outcome of the poll.
The APC prayed the court to dismiss the suit on the ground that Mr Obi, the 1st petitioner, lacked requisite locus standi to institute the petition because he was not a member of LP at least 30 days to the party’s presidential primary to be validly sponsored by the party.
The APC argued that “by the mandatory provisions of Section 77 (1) (2) and (3) of the Electoral Act 2022, a political party shall maintain a register and shall make such register available to INEC not later than 30 days before the date fixed for the party primaries, congresses and convention.”
The PDP’s presidential candidates were screened on April 29, 2022, an exercise which Obi participated and cleared to contest while being a member of the party.
It argued that the petition was incompetent since Mr Obi’s name could not have been in LP’s register made available to INEC as at the time he joined the party.
The APC equally argued that the petition was improperly constituted having failed to join Atiku Abubakar and PDP who were necessary parties to be affected by the reliefs sought.