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Mahmud, Adehi, 3 other SANs leads INEC team to defend Tinubu’s mandate



 Mahmud Adehi 3 other SANs leads INEC team to defend Tinubu s mandate

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has appointed five Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) led by Abubakar Balarabe Mahmud to defend the 2023 Presidential election. 

The team of SANS includes Stephen Adehi, Pinheiro Oluwakemi Adekunle,  Miannaya Essien and Abdullahi Aliyu.

Other legal experts are Garba Hassan,Esq, Patricia Obi Esq, Musa Attah Esq,

PlatinumPost reports that INEC had on 1 March 2023 had declared Bola Tinubu, the candidate of Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, as the winner of the 25 February 2023 presidential election.

Mr Tinubu defeated 17 other candidates who took part in the election. He scored a total of 8,794,726 votes, the highest of all the candidates, thus meeting the first constitutional requirement to be declared the winner.

He also scored over 25 per cent of the votes cast in 30 states, more than the 24 states constitutionally required.

READ ALSO:Presidential tribunal grants Obi, Atiku leave for substituted service

INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu, who announced the final results in Abuja, said Atiku Abubakar of the PDP came second in the election.

Atiku polled a total of 6,984,520 votes in the election.

Peter Obi of the Labour Party came third in the election with a total of 6,101,533 votes while Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP came fourth with 1,496,687 votes.

However, the duo of Atiku and Obi insist that they outscored Tinubu and that INEC erred by declaring him winner of the election.

They have since filled petitions to the Presidential election tribunal challenging the declaration of Tinubu.

In the petition, Obi further contended that Tinubu “was not duly elected by majority of the lawful votes cast at the time of the election.”

Obi claimed there was rigging in 11 states, adding that he would demonstrate this in the declaration of results based on the uploaded results.

The petition read, “The petitioners shall show that in the computation and declaration of the result of the election, based on the updated results, the votes recorded for the second respondent (Tinubu) did not comply with the legitimate process for the computation of the result and disfavoured the petitioners in the following states: Rivers, Lagos, Taraba, Benue, Adamawa, Imo, Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Plateau and other states of the federation.’’

Obi and LP said INEC violated its own regulations when it announced the result despite the fact that at the time of the announcement, the totality of the polling unit results had yet to be fully scanned, uploaded and transmitted electronically as required by the Electoral Act.

Among other prayers, the petitioners urged the tribunal to “determine that, at the time of the presidential election held on February 25,, 2023, the second and third respondents (Tinubu and Shettima) were not qualified to contest the election.

“That it be determined that all the votes recorded for the second respondent in the election are wasted votes, owing to the non-qualification of the second and third respondents.

“That it be determined that on the basis of the remaining votes (after discountenancing the votes credited to the second respondent) the first petitioner (Obi) scored a majority of the lawful votes cast at the election and had not less than 25 per cent of the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and satisfied the constitutional requirements to be declared the winner of the February 25, 2023 presidential election.

“That it be determined that the second respondent (Tinubu), having failed to score one-quarter of the votes cast at the presidential election in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, was not entitled to be declared and returned as the winner of the presidential election held on February 25, 2023.’’

Alternatively, the petitioners are also asking the tribunal for an order cancelling the election and compelling INEC to conduct a fresh election in which Tinubu, Shettima and APC shall not participate.

The tribunal has yet to fix a date for the hearing of the petition filed by the petitioners’ lead counsel, Livy Ozoukwu.

Atiku and PDP’s petition was marked marked CA/PEPC/05/2023, with INEC, Tinubu and APC listed as respondents.

A member of Atiku’s legal team, Silas Onu, confirmed the filing of the petition to Channels TV.

Essentially, the petition wants Tinubu’s victory nullified.

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