The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the petition filed by the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar against the victory of Bola Tinubu, its candidate in the 2023 presidential election lacked the necessary particulars to support claims that the poll was marred with corrupt practices, violence and non compliance with provisions of the electoral act.
APC said this while asking the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Abuja to dismiss the petition filed by Atiku and the PDP to challenge the victory of Tinubu in the February 25 election.
Tinubu scored a total of 8,794,726 votes to be declared the winner of the 2023 presidential election.
Atiku Abubakar of the PDP came second in the election with total of 6,984,520 votes while Peter Obi of the Labour Party came third in the election with a total of 6,101,533 votes.
However, Atiku and the PDP in their petition dated March 21, claimed that Tinubu’s victory was as a result of malpractices and other irregularities.
They therefore asked for the nullification of the victory of the APC presidential candidate.
Respondents in the petition marked: CA/PEPC/05/2023, are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Tinubu and the APC as 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The petition is based on four major grounds amongst which are that the election of the 2nd Respondent is invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.
That the election of the 2nd Respondent is invalid by reason of corrupt practices.
Thirdly, that the 2nd Respondent was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast at the Election.
Fourthly, that the 2nd Respondent was at the time of the Election not qualified to contest the Election.
But APC, the 4th respondent, in its notice of preliminary objection marked: CA/PEPC/A/05/2023 urged the PEPC to reject the petition.
The party claimed the court has no jurisdiction to adjudicate on the petitioners’ allegation predicated on ground (D) in paragraph 16 of the petition and the related paragraph 146 which lacks necessary facts or particulars as required by paragraph 4 (1)(d) of the rules of procedure for election petitions ( 1st Schedule to the electoral Act 2022.
The petitioners’ paragraph 146 in support of ground four on non qualification is vague, bare and meaningless as having the constitutional threshold is not part of the requirement to contest any election,” the APC said.
The APC said allegations of non compliance must be made distinctly and proved on polling unit basis.
The party also added that the petitioners did not provide the particulars of polling units where any irregularity or non compliance took place.
”The petition as presently constituted, is devoid of necessary particulars to support allegations of corrupt practices, violence and non compliance with provisions of the electoral act.
”Paragraph 35 of the petition is not relevant or cognizable and 84 is vague as no specific figure or polling units are pleaded as the margin of lead to be countered by the respondent,” the APC said..
The APC therefore prayed the tribunal to dismiss or strike out the petitioners ‘ petition for lack of merit.