.What The Constitution Says On Tinubu’s Response To Peter Obi’s Petition – Lawyer
“The Constitution says a candidate should be a member of a political party and be sponsored by that political party. It does not state the timeframe for joining the party. The Electoral Act requires parties to submit their membership register 30 days before primaries.
“The Act doesn’t bar admission of new members after submission of the register to the Commission.”
Lawyers of the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the just concluded 2023 presidential election, Bola Ahmed Tinubu had responded to the petition of the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi challenging Tinubu’s declaration as President-elect by the Independent National electoral commission INEC.
According to sources, one of the grounds is that Mr Peter Obi is not qualified to contest for the presidential election based on the following reasons:
1- Peter Obi was successfully cleared to Contest for PDP Presidential Primary and Also received his Certificate of Clearance on 30 April 2022.
2- Peter Gregory Obi withdrew from PDP primaries on May 12th, 2022, less than a week to Labour Party’s presidential election.
3. According to Section 77 of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended, “each party is required to maintain a membership register in hard and soft copy and to make such register available to the Commission not later than 30 days before the date fixed for primaries, congresses and conventions”.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has dismissed an appeal by the Allied Peoples Movement, APM, seeking to disqualify Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, from the February 25 general election.
In the appeal marked: CA/ABJ/CV/1414/2022, the Movement had approached the court, contending that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, ought not to have recognized Peter Obi as a valid candidate for the presidential poll.
APM said this was in consideration of the time Obi defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the LP.
The party argued that the period of Obi’s defection for the purpose of contesting the presidential election was in violation of sections 77(2) and (3) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
They also argued that before Obi’s defection, the LP already sent a list of its registered members to the INEC.
According to the appellant, Obi lacked the right to be recognized as the LP flagbearer because his name was not on the list of the party members that was submitted to INEC.
APM further urged the court to set aside the Federal High Court judgment which dismissed the suit it filed to challenge Obi’s candidacy.
In a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of Justices, the appellate court said there was no merit in the appeal filed by APM.
Hotmedia.ng gathered that this is one of the grounds the All Progressives Congress APC Candidate and President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu presented to the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in response against Peter Obi’s Petition.