The Labour Party (LP)’s appeal alleging that the 2023 presidential election was rigged with anomalies and excessive voting was declared null and void by the Presidential Election Appeal Court in Abuja.
In order to seek redress against the ruling All Progressive Congress Party (APC), Peter Obi, the LP’s presidential candidate, claimed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had lowered his party’s votes and added them to those of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
However, the five-member justices’ panel, presided over by Haruna Tsammani, ruled on Wednesday that LP failed to provide details regarding their real scores prior to the alleged reductions, as well as the polling places where they occurred.
Reading the decision on the respondents’ preliminary objections to Peter Obi’s petition, Mr Tsammani said Mr Obi’s petition only alleged widespread irregularities without giving the particulars and in which polling units.
According to him, the petition claimed that false results were submitted without specifying the affected voting locations.
He claims that the petition did not specify which voting units were involved in the alleged overvoting and rigging.
According to Mr Tsammani, the petitioners just made general accusations.
The petitioners stated that they would depend on spreadsheets, inspection reports, and forensic analysis submitted with the petition at trial and made generalised charges of wrongdoing.
However, he claims that the petitioners did not include the promised documents when serving the respondents with the petition.
Mr. Tsammani further claims that in their petitions, Mr. Obi and his Labour Party neglected to disclose specifics regarding corrupt practices, vote suppression, the entry of bogus results, and other irregularities.
“It was only in one instance that figures were given of alleged suppressed votes and we all know that elections are about figures,” it maintained.
“Pleading must set out material facts and particulars. In the instant petition, there was no effort to prove specific allegations, particulars of complaints,” the Tribunal ruled on Wednesday in Abuja.
“The law is clear that where someone alleges irregularities in a particular polling unit, such person must prove the particular irregularities in that polling unit before that petition can succeed, ” the Tribunal added.