By Olugbenga Salami
Frontline pro-democracy group, the Coalition for Protection of Democracy, COPDEM, has faulted the verdict of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, PEPT on the petition filed by the presidential candidate of Labour Party, LP, Mr. Peter Obi, against the declaration of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC as winner of the February 25, 2023 presidential election.
COPDEM, in a statement signed by its spokesman, Garba Danjuma, described the verdict of the five-,man panel as a miscarriage of justice.
It wondered how a court could submit that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC is not under obligation to transmit results electronically, saying that the position of PEPT on that issue must be challenged at the Supreme Court.
“The position of PEPT that INEC is under no obligation to transmit results electronically, signals a return to the era of collation fraud and untrammeled impunity!
“One may grant that a better view may have been that even though a duty exists to transmit results electronically, it had not been established by the Petitioners that the failure to do so substantially affected the result of the election in this instance.
“But the implication of the judgment on electronic transfer of results is that all the innovations and checkmates against electoral fraud contained in the 2022 Electoral Act have been capriciously cast into the dustbin of history,” the group stressed.
COPDEM further expressed shock that “despite the widespread irregularities that characterised the presidential election captured by the European Union, EU, damning report about the election, the PEPT decided to ignore the report and went ahead with their verdict.”
It, therefore, disclosed that its legal team would “study the judgement and come out with robust submission that cannot be ignored in the court of law.”