The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) has dismissed the Labour Party (LP)‘s petition challenging the validity of the 2023 presidential election, stating that the petition was generic and lacked specific evidence of irregularities.
In a decisive statement, the Tribunal emphasized, “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 further clarified that under the law, anyone alleging irregularities in a particular polling unit must provide concrete evidence of those irregularities within that unit for their petition to be considered valid.
“It 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 declared.
The ruling continued, highlighting the inadequacies in LP’s petition, stating, “The petitioners did not prove the particular polling units where the election did not take place nor did they specify particulars of polling units where there are alleged complainants of irregularities.”
“It was only in one instance that figures were given of alleged suppressed votes, and we all know that elections are about figures,” the Tribunal emphasized.
The LP had alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) manipulated the election results by reducing their scores and adding them to the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s votes.
However, the court pointed out that LP failed to provide concrete evidence of their initial scores before the alleged reductions or specify the polling units where these irregularities occurred.
This ruling is expected to have significant implications for future election petitions, as it underscores the importance of providing precise evidence and particulars when challenging election results. The LP’s petition has now been dismissed, solidifying the victory of the APC in the 2023 presidential election.