In a series of rulings on Wednesday, the PEPT struck out several paragraphs and exhibits in the petition filed by Atiku and the PDP on the grounds that they were incompetent, irrelevant, or introduced new facts that were not pleaded in the petition.
Among the portions of the petition that were struck out by the PEPT were:
The allegation that Tinubu was not qualified to contest the election because he was convicted of a crime in the United States The PEPT held that there was no evidence of such a conviction and that it was a new fact that was not pleaded in the petition.
The allegation that there were widespread irregularities and malpractices in the election, such as ballot box stuffing, vote buying, and manipulation of the BVAS machine, The PEPT held that the petitioners failed to provide specific details of where, when, and how these alleged irregularities occurred and that they did not call any witnesses to substantiate their claims.
The allegation that Tinubu forged his academic certificates and had dual citizenship in Nigeria and Guinea The PEPT held that these were also new facts that were not pleaded in the petition and that they were irrelevant to the issue of Tinubu’s qualification to contest the election.
The PEPT also dismissed the allegations made by the petitioners against Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, and Chairman of Olamaboro Local Government of Kogi, Friday Adejoh, for their alleged roles in rigging the election in favour of Tinubu. The PEPT held that the failure to join them as respondents in the petition was fatal, as they were denied the opportunity to defend themselves.
The rulings of the PEPT have effectively weakened the case of Atiku and the PDP, who are seeking to nullify Tinubu’s election and declare themselves the winners of the presidential election.