Candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Mr Peter Obi, on Monday, continued his case before the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting in Abuja, as he tendered more results of the presidential election from eight states.
The results, which were admitted in evidence by Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel, were from ; Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Delta, Kaduna, Imo, Ondo, Sokoto and Kogi.
While Obi and the LP, who is challenging the outcome of the presidential election that was held on February 25, tendered results from 13 LGAs in Ebonyi, which were marked as Exhibits PP 1 – PP 13, results from the same number of LGA in Nasarawa was admitted in evidence as Exhibits PQ 1 – PQ 13.
Likewise, the Justice Tsammani-led panel admitted in evidence as Exhibits PS 1 to PR 25, results from 25 LGAs in Delta state, just as results of the election from 23 LGAs in Kaduna state were marked as Exhibits PS 1 to PS 23.
Whereas results from 26 LGAs in Imo were tendered and admitted as Exhibits PT1 – PT 26, that of 18 LGAs from Ondo were accepted in evidence by the panel as Exhibits PU 1 – PU 18, while results from 7 LGAs in Sokoto were marked as Exhibits PV 1- PV 7.
The last set of results the petitioners tendered were from 21 LGAs in Kogi state and they were marked as Exhibits PW1 – PW 21.
The LP candidate, who came third in the presidential election that was won by the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, President Bola Tinubu, said he would adduce more exhibits before the court on Tuesday to support his allegation that the election was rigged against him.
Earlier in the proceedings, Obi’s lawyer, Mr Patrick Ikweto, SAN, told the court that his client has a fresh application for which he sought permission to be allowed to move on the next adjourned date.
Ikweto, SAN, equally apologized for serving the schedule of documents his client intends to tender before the court, late on the respondents.
“My lords I apologise for this obvious tardiness and I am giving an undertaking that going forward, we will keep to our words,” the petitioner’s counsel added.
Counsel for the APC, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, had complained that he was not served with the said fresh schedule, which was in respect of the results of the election from some states, on time.
“My lords, this is not the first or second time that we will get to court and be given a fresh schedule by the petitioners in respect of some states.
“I want to submit with respect that the time has come for your lordships to apply the pre-hearing report strictly.
“The petitioner has been proceeding as if there is no pre-hearing report,” Fagbemi, SAN, fumed.
The court had in its pre-hearing report, mandated all the parties to file and serve all their documents, at least 24 hours before the hearing date.
Meanwhile, the court adjourned further hearing on the petition till Tuesday.
Specifically, Obi, in the joint petition he filed with the LP, is contending that President Tinubu was not the valid winner of the election.
The petitioners, in the case, marked: CA/PEPC/03/2023, equally maintained that President Tinubu was not qualified to participate in the presidential contest.
According to the petitioners, at the time Tinubu’s running mate, Shettima, became the Vice Presidential candidate, he was still the nominated candidate of the APC for the Borno Central Senatorial election.
The petitioners further challenged Tinubu’s eligibility to contest the presidential election, alleging that he was previously indicted and fined the sum of $460,000.00 by the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, in Case No: 93C 4483, for an offence involving dishonesty and drug trafficking.
On the ground that the election was invalid by reason of corrupt practices and non-compliance with the provision of the Electoral Act, 2022, the petitioners argued that INEC acted in breach of its own Regulations and Guidelines.
The Petitioners argued that the electoral body was in the course of the conduct of the presidential poll, mandatorily required to prescribe and deploy technological devices for the accreditation, verification, continuation and authentication of voters and their particulars as contained in its Regulations.
They are, therefore, praying the court to among other things, declare that all the votes recorded for Tinubu and the APC, were wasted votes owing to his non-qualification/disqualification.
“That it is determined that on the basis of the remaining votes (after discountenancing the votes credited to the 2nd Respondent) the 1st Petitioner (Obi) scored a majority of the lawful votes cast at the election and had not less than 25% of the votes cast in at least 2/3 of the States of the Federation, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and satisfied the constitutional requirements to be declared the winner of the 25th February 2023 presidential election.
“That it be determined that the 2nd Respondent 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 25th February 2023.”
In the alternative, the petitioners, want an order cancelling the election and compelling INEC to conduct a fresh election at which Tinubu, Shettima and the APC, listed as 2nd, 3rd and 4th Respondents, respectively, shall not participate.
They urged the court to declare that since Tinubu was not duly elected by a majority of the lawful votes cast in the election, therefore, his return as the winner of the presidential election, was unlawful, unconstitutional and of no effect whatsoever.
In a further alternative prayer, the petitioners want the court to hold that the presidential election was void on the ground that it was not conducted substantially in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, and the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Likewise, they applied for an order, “cancelling the presidential election conducted on 25th February 2023 and mandating the 1st Respondent to conduct a fresh election for the President, the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
Army Put On Standby As UK Police Hand In Weapons
The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence is offering soldiers to support armed police in London after dozens of police officers stood down from firearms duties, BBC reports.
More than 100 officers have turned in permits allowing them to carry weapons, a source told the BBC, in support of a fellow officer who has been charged with murder over the fatal shooting of a young Black man, Chris Kaba.
The officer, named only as NX121, who appeared in court last week, has been charged over the death of Chris Kaba in September 2022.
Kaba died hours after he was struck by a single gunshot fired into the vehicle he was driving in the Streatham area of South London.
It later emerged that the Audi Mr Kaba was driving, which did not belong to him, had been linked by police to a gun incident the day before.
His death prompted a number of protests and renewed allegations of racism within the force.
The Ministry of Defence said it received a request, known as Military Aid to the Civil Authorities, from the Home Office to “provide routine counter-terrorism contingency support to the Metropolitan Police, should it be needed”.
A MACA is offered to the police or the NHS in emergency situations. The military helped medical staff in the Covid pandemic and covered for striking border staff and paramedics last year.
The Met said it was a “contingency option” that would only be used “in specific circumstances and where an appropriate policing response was not available”.
Military staff would not be used “in a routine policing capacity”, it added.
On Saturday, the Met said its own officers still make up the vast majority of armed police in the capital but they were being supported by a limited number of firearms officers from neighbouring forces.
Announcing the review, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the public “depend on our brave firearms officers to protect us”.
“In the interest of public safety they have to make split-second decisions under extraordinary pressures.”
She said that officers have her “full backing”.
“I will do everything in my power to support them,” she added.
In his letter to the home secretary, the Met Police commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, said that a system where officers are investigated for “safely pursuing suspects” should not have been allowed to develop.
Sir Mark said he would “make no comment” on any ongoing legal matters, but “the issues raised in this letter go back further”.
He said firearms officers are concerned that they will face years of legal proceedings, “even if they stick to the tactics and training they have been given”.
“Officers need sufficient legal protection to enable them to do their job and keep the public safe, and the confidence that it will be applied consistently and without fear or favour,” he wrote.
But in instances where officers act improperly, Sir Mark said the system “needs to move swiftly” rather than “tying itself in knots pursuing good officers through multiple legal processes”.
Man Charged With Beating His Three Children To Death
Police in Thailand have charged a man with beating to death his two-year-old daughter and his two infant sons, BBC reports.
The police suspect Songsak Songsaeng also killed two other infant sons from a previous marriage.
The charges follow the discovery last week of the body of a two-year-old girl buried beneath a kitchen floor.
Police say Songsak claims to have a history of mental illness, and that he killed his children because he couldn’t tolerate the sound of their crying.
His wife has also been charged over the death of their two-year-old daughter. And his ex-wife has been charged over the deaths of the two boys. All three have been arrested. Songsak has been married four times.
Police were first alerted to a possible case of domestic violence at the Bang Khen district in Bangkok earlier this month.
Songsak’s neighbours reported that his two daughters, aged 12 and four, were being physically abused. Police rescued the two daughters while they were home without their parents.
The 12-year-old told police that their parents had beaten her two-year-old sister, which led to her death. She also helped police trace the body to where it was buried under a kitchen floor in north-west Thailand last week.
Thai police have also charged Songsak with the killing of two other sons he had with his third wife after his DNA matched with that of two infants, whose bodies were unearthed 10 years ago.
His third wife had said he killed their four infant sons and gave police locations where two were buried.
Police believe the two others may have been buried under an area where a petrol station now stands.
JUST IN: Russia Adds ICC President, Hofmanski, To Wanted List
The Russian Government, on Monday, said it had placed the President of the International Criminal Court, which is seeking the arrest of President Vladimir Putin, on its wanted list.
“Hofmanski Piotr Jozef, Polish. Wanted under an article of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation,” Russian news agencies reported, citing the Interior Ministry.
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