The reasons why the seven governors of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-controlled states withdrew their lawsuit challenging the election of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as president-elect have emerged.
Separate statements made available to The Boss by Mr. Paul Ibe, the media aide to the PDP presidential candidate, and Chief Mike Ozekhome, the legal representative of the seven states, explained that events had overtaken the suit because it was filed on February 28, 2023, before the announcement of final results and Tinubu’s declaration as president-elect.
Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Edo, and Sokoto are the states involved.
“The Supreme Court suit between the six states and AG Federation which was filed during the flawed manual collation of results contrary to the clear provisions of the Electoral Act, the INEC Guidelines and Regulations and the manual for INEC officials, has been discontinued due to the fact that the flawed results have already been announced and a President-elect declared, albeit illegally and unconstitutionally. Having been overtaken by events, it will now be a Tribunal matter,”
Chief Ozekhome said.
On his part, Paul Ibe, hinted that consequent upon the flawed results being announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the state governors, as chief security officers of their respective states, moved to avoid actions that may cause breakdown of law and order through protests and riots, and therefore decided to sue to stop the announcement of results and possible declaration of Tinubu as winner.
“Please find attached the signed covering page and processes of the states of Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Sokoto dragging the FG to the Supreme Court over the 2023 presidential and NASS election.
“The Attorneys-General of the listed six states have brought this case against the FGN in the Supreme Court, invoking the Original Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court that it is seised with under Section 232 (1) of the Constitution.
“In essence, the AG’s are basing their claims on a potential break down of public order/civil disobedience/rioting scenario that may/will be brought about as a result of adverse reactions to the declaration by INEC of Tinubu as president, without following the Electoral Act and INEC’s own laid down guidelines, particularly in relation to the uploading of results unto the IREV through the BVAS.
“The thrust of their claim is that there will be public disorder/civil disobedience/rioting in the event that INEC is allowed to sustain its claims that Tinubu won the election, without first complying with its own (INEC’s) operating guidelines. The Governors of the applicant states, as the Chief Law Officers of their respective states, have the statutory obligation to take all steps to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order in their states hence, they are bringing this action in the Supreme Court.
“Please note that this action was filed on the 28th of February – before INEC announced its final results. Note, also, that the 6 states had applied for an injunction restraining INEC from continuing with announcing results.”
It is on record that both the PDP and the Labour Party (LP) have taken the APC, Tinubu and INEC to Court over the flawed conduct of the February 25 elections.