The panel held that the former Anambra State Governor and his party failed to substantiate their allegations that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not follow laid down guidelines and regulations in the conduct of the election.
Obi and his party said details of the polling units where the malpractices occurred were contained in the spreadsheets and forensic analysis reports contained in the petitions they submitted to the tribunal.
Also, Obi and LP faulted the PEPC’s decision to strike out of certain paragraphs in their petition.
According to them, the decision amounted to a blatant denial of their right to a fair hearing and occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice.
In the same vein, they faulted the decision of PEPC to strike statements of 10 out of the 13 witnesses they called during proceedings on the ground that the statements were filed after the expiration of the period of 21 days prescribed by the constitution.
The petitioners said the action was against precedents set in many previous cases at the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court that a subpoenaed witness did not need to file his statement alongside the petition and that any such statement filed after the time allowed for filing the petition was competent and valid.
The petitioners also faulted claim in the judgment of the PEPC that they did not call enough witnesses to prove allegations of corrupt practices and other irregularities in their petitions.
The petitioners also said the claim by PEPC that they did not call witnesses from the polling units, wards or other places, where irregularities and malpractices were alleged to have occurred because the issue of non-compliance by INEC to its laws, guidelines and relevant statutes was a universal complaint and an infraction against the Nigerian people and the Nigerian state.
“The court below failed to take into account that the appellants listed the states and specific areas complained about in the petition. The appellants also tendered documents in satisfaction of Section 137 of the Electoral Act 2022.”
Also, contrary to the the judgment of the PEPC, the petitioners said the use of technology in the conduct of the poll was pivotal to the integrity/credibility and transparency of the election.
The appellants also argued that use of BVAS to transmit the election results to IReV under the Electoral Act 2022 was mandatory and not discretionary, contrary to the ruling of the court.
They argued that they were able to prove their case of double-nomination of the vice president (Kashim Shettima) with the law and evidence they tendered in the court.
According to the petitioners, the tribunal misapplied the provisions of Section 137(1)(d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) when it ruled that Tinubu cannot be disqualified from contesting the presidential election because of forfeiture order made against him by the US District Court.
They faulted claim by the court that there was no evidence that Tinubu had been arrested, charged, and convicted by a court of law to warrant his disqualification from contesting the election.
Obi and LP also faulted the decision of the court that contrary to their claim, a presidential candidate did not need to score at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in the FCT to be declared winner of the election, arguing that the PEPC introduced and relied on extraneous matters/considerations in its interpretation of Section 134(2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
They argued that this was because the issue they put before the court was not whether or not the FCT had a “special status” over other states; or whether or not every citizen of Nigeria had the equality of vote.