Tension As Moves To Stop Tinubu’s Inauguration, Kill Peter Obi’s Election Petition Thicken
There is apprehension in the polity as efforts by different interests in the political equation in Nigeria continue to push towards undoing each other in the post-2023 general elections politics.
Recall that the country’s secret police, the Department of State Services (DSS) had recently confirmed that there is a plot to foist on the country an Interim National Government (ING) as part of efforts to truncate the transition process.
In a move to stop the planned inauguration of the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on May 29, 2023, a former presidential candidate has asked the Court of Appeal to halt the handover to Tinubu.
This is even as there were moves by interested forces to kill the presidential election petition filed by the Labour Party (LP) and its Presidential Candidate, Mr Peter Obi challenging the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the February 25, 2023 presidential election.
Move To Stop Tinubu’s Inauguration
The fresh motion on notice seeking to stop Tinubu from being inaugurated as Nigeria’s new President on May 29, 2023, has been instituted at the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja.
The suit was instituted by a presidential candidate in the 2019 Presidential election and constitutional lawyer, Ambrose Owuru and the defunct political party, Hope Democratic Party (HDP).
Owuru prayed the Court of Appeal Abuja to prohibit President Muhammadu Buhari; Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from inaugurating the President-elect on May 29.
Owuru predicated his grouse against inauguration of Tinubu or anybody else as successor to Buhari on the ground that he is the constitutionally adjudged winner of the 2019 election and has not spent his tenure as required by law.
Among others, Owuru insisted that Buhari has been usurping his tenure of office since 2019 because the Supreme Court has not determined his petition filed in 2019 in which he challenged the purported declaration of Buhari as the election winner.
He also applied for another order directing and placing on notice that any form of handover inauguration, organized and Superintended by Buhari on May 29, 2023 outside the adjudged winner of the 2019 presidential election, subject of the pending appeal, remains as an “interim place holder” administration pending the hearing and determination of his substantive appeal on constitutional interpretation thereof.
The motion is supported with an 8-paragraph affidavit praying the Court of Appeal for an expeditious hearing before the inauguration of Tinubu.
No date has been fixed for hearing.
Action Against Peter Obi’s Election Petition
Meanwhile, the factional Labour Party National Chairman, Comrade Lamidi Apapa has approached tribunals seeking to withdraw all cases involving the party’s candidates challenging the outcome of the 2023 general elections.
However, the Labour Party faction led by Barr Julius Abure has asked Election Tribunals to discountenance letters withdrawing petitions by the Lamidi Apapa led National Executive of the party.
The Barr. Abure faction of the Labour Party (LP) called on all election petition tribunals to disregard letters by its suspended National Legal Adviser, Mr Samuel Akingbade, withdrawing all the party’s petitions.
The factional Acting National Publicity Secretary, Mr Obiora Ifoh, stated on Tuesday in Abuja that the presidential election petition tribunal in particular should dismiss the letter.
He called on the police, the Department of State Services (DSS) and anti-graft agencies to quickly apprehend and question the party’s ex-officials involved in the letter before they succeeded in igniting the nation.
“The party’s suspended Deputy National Chairman, Mr Lamidi Apapa has approached all election tribunals wherein LP has pending matters, including that of our presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, asking for withdrawal of cases.
“We are by this statement informing all arms of the Judiciary, including the tribunals and courts to ignore the ignoble antics of these compromised, suspended members of the party.
“Daily, the evil intention of the breakaway faction of the Labour Party, led by the suspended deputy national chairman, Mr Apapa continues to manifest.
“Just on Tuesday morning, our legal team was confronted by the stark revelation that these men have advanced their plots by approaching tribunals where our candidates lodged petitions to discontinue the cases,’’ Ifoh stated.
He added that the plan was to frustrate Labour Party’s destined victory at the tribunals and also to derail the country’s fledgling democracy.
He listed some of the suspended party members to include Messrs Akingbade, Gbenga Daramola, Anselem Eragbe and Abayomi Arabambi.
They were the National Legal Adviser, National Financial Secretary, National Youth Leader and National Publicity Secretary, respectively.
Ifoh recalled that the leadership of Labour Party had been swimming through the murky waters of conspiracy, treachery and sabotage orchestrated by the former officers.
He stated also that party had long-suspected that moles were planted to sabotage its efforts to offer Nigerians alternative governance.
“The desperation of the moles to satisfy their paymaster is beginning to threaten the nation’s peace and democracy.
“Approaching the tribunals to withdraw all the cases lodged by Labour Party candidates is the height of subterfuge and treachery, and Nigerians will resist this ploy to plunge the nation into unnecessary turmoil.
“Their actions show that they are working against the party to destroy it.
“If they claim they have problem with the national leadership of the party, will they also claim that they have problem with the candidates of the party?
“What offence have the candidates of the party committed that they are now moving around to withdraw their matters from the tribunals,’’ he queried.
Ifoh stated also that he was appointed national publicity secretary of the party at a meeting in Asaba because of the vacancy created by the expulsion of the former national publicity secretary.
“All relevant government agencies, including the National Executive Council of the party were present where I was unanimously appointed,’’ he stressed.
Cheap Publicity Ploy
However, the Apapa-led faction in response dismissed the claim, stating that it was a ploy by Abure to gain cheap public sympathy.
Spokesman for the Apapa faction, Comrade Abayomi Arabambi, noted that it was that the attempt to distract public attention from the real issues will fail.
Recall that the Apapa faction had obtained an order of the High Court sitting in Abuja restraining Abure and others from parading themselves as National Officers of Labour Party while the Abure faction said it obtained a Benin City Federal High Court order reaffirming Abure and others as National Officers.
In the days to come, events are expected to unfold as politicians plot to undue or outwit each other in the post-elections politics and litigations. Read more