Beginning today, May 8, the Presidential Election Tribunal will begin hearing the petitions brought before it by resentful opposition parties challenging the election of Bola Tinubu as president-elect.
Remember that some of the candidates who lost the race went to court to seek redress after Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was declared the winner of the presidential election on February 25. They claimed that the election had been rigged in favor of the ruling party.
According to Naijacrawl, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, Pete Obi of the Labour Party, and others petitioned the tribunal to overturn Tinubu's victory on the grounds that the election had been conducted substantially outside of the bounds of the Constitution, the Electoral Act, and INEC's rules for conducting elections.
In response to alleged irregularities at voting locations during the presidential election, Atiku, a former vice president who based his petition on five grounds, is asking the court to order the electoral body to hold a new election.
Atiku and his party are saying that Tinubu was declared the winner of the election when all results and accreditation data from polling units were yet to be transmitted and uploaded by INEC.
Obi, a former Anambra governor, is also alleging various irregularities in the conduct of the election, insisting that Tinubu and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, were not qualified to contest.
Obi also said that Tinubu failed to win the majority of lawful votes and was unable to garner one-quarter of votes in the Federal Capital Territory, or FCT.
The Daily Post reports that during the pre-hearing session today, the Court is expected to provide a full timetable for hearing the substantive petitions filed against the President-elect at the election tribunal.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, had alleged that some foreign lawyers had been flown into the country to stop Tinubu’s inauguration on May 29.
Also, a chieftain of the ruling party, Femi Fani-Kayode, alleged in a tweet that former president Olusegun Obasanjo contracted foreign lawyers for Peter Obi.
In a jeering tweet, the former Aviation Minister captioned a video, “when Peter heard that the Russian lawyer that OBJ had procured for him to represent him at the Election Petition Tribunal was no longer coming." Poor, tired soul! "Please pray for him”.
However, Dr. Yunusa Salisu Tanko, Chief Spokesperson, LP Presidential Campaign Council in the already concluded election, told the Daily Post on Sunday that members of Obi’s legal team are all Nigerians.
He said, “As far as I know, the lawyers are all Nigerians; I have not seen any foreign lawyer in the legal team.”
He expressed optimism at the outcome of the process, insisting that the party’s candidate would be making presentations that cannot be faulted.
“From what we are presenting to the court, we are very optimistic that they cannot find fault in our presentation," he added.