The leadership of the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, have been given a window period of 21 days for the elections petition tribunal to fix a date for the hearing of his case.
This was disclosed by the Chief Spokesman of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Dr Yunusa Tanko, during an exclusive interview.
The development came in the wake of a report that Obi had formally filed the petition to protest the outcome of the February 25 poll to the tribunal on Tuesday.
An excited Tanko stated that the former governor of Anambra State has commenced the process of reclaiming the people’s mandate in court.
He said, “The tribunal has given 21 days of response. So it is only after then that they can fix a date for the hearing.
“This (duration) is a legal procedure from the tribunal. We have shared a copy of the petition to keep the media abreast of development. I am sure we will get a hearing date after the 21 days.”
Obi’s petition is coming four weeks after the contentious presidential and National assembly elections that produced the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Although Tanko did not reveal why it took his principal this long to file the petition, a source within the party disclosed that the former governor of Anambra State wanted to properly collate materials to back up his claim of massive rigging, voters intimidation and corruption allegation against the electoral umpire.
“You know Obi doesn’t like talking without getting facts. That’s why he took his time before he officially filed his case at the tribunal,” he said.
In the petition marked CA/PEPC/03/2023, Obi and the LP were joined as the plaintiffs while the INEC and the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; his deputy, Shettima Kashim and the ruling APC were 1st to 4th respondents.
Among other things, Obi is challenging the outcome of the presidential poll on the ground that Tinubu was not eminently qualified to contest an offence involving narcotics trafficking.
The LP flag bearer also cited INEC’s non-compliance with its guideline and the Electoral Act.