The claim by President Bola Tinubu that Peter Obi is not a valid member of the Labour Party has been countered by the Obi-Datti media office who described it as empty evidence.
The media office in a statement on Wednesday said the matter is of no consequence as it has already been settled by the Appeal Court.
It would be recalled that President Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima on Wednesday tendered a copy of the Labour Party (LP) membership register for Anambra State as evidence of their claim that Peter Obi is not a registered member of the party.
Gists9ja reports that Obi and the Labour Party are challenging the victory of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress at the February 25th presidential election.
Responding to Obi’s petition at the tribunal, Tinubu and Shettima had argued that not being a member of the party at the time of the last presidential election, Obi was not qualified to have contested the last election on the platform of the LP.
However, according to a statement signed by Diran Onifade, the Obi-Datti media office has countered the claims by Tinubu.
The statement said, “The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Wednesday closed their case in the ongoing hearing of the Petition filed by the Labour Party, Candidate, Peter Obi.
“Among the documents submitted to the court is a register purported to be indicating that Obi is not a member of the Labour Party as stipulated by the Electoral guidelines.
“But apparently unknown to them or they were feigning ignorance that the matter was long settled by the Court of Appeal in a Judgement delivered on Wednesday the 8th of February, 2023 by a team of three Justices led by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Bolna’an Dongban-Mensem, Justice Ugochukwu Anthony Ogakwu, and Danlami Zama Senchi, in the case between the Allied Peoples Movement, APM, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Labour Party and Peter Gregory Obi.
“The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja then dismissed the appeal by the APM, seeking to disqualify Peter Obi, from being the Presidential Candidate of the February 25 general election.
“In the appeal marked: CA/ABJ/CV/1414/2022, the Movement had approached the court, contending that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, ought not to have recognised Peter Obi as a valid candidate for the presidential poll.
APM said this was in consideration of the time Obi defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the LP. The party argued that the period of Obi’s defection for the purpose of contesting the presidential election violated sections 77(2) and (3) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
“They also adduced that before Obi’s defection, the LP already sent a list of its registered members to the INEC. They then claimed that Obi lacked the right to be recognised as the LP flagbearer because his name was not on the list of the party members that were submitted to INEC.
APM had urged the court to set aside the Federal High Court judgment which dismissed the suit it filed to challenge Obi’s candidacy on the same matter.
“But in a unanimous decision by the three-member panel of Justices, the appellate court said there was no merit in the appeal filed by APM.
“The Justices affirmed the decision of the Abuja High Court that had earlier dismissed the case saying that ‘the lower Court cannot be faulted, the appeal is devoid of merit, the same fails and it is deserving of dismissal.’
“Obi-Datti Media office wishes therefore to draw the attention of the public to this case and disregard the empty evidence and propaganda of the APC and its candidate in the highly contentious February 25 Presidential election.”