The Presidential Election Petitions Court on Wednesday ruled that the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, failed to prove that President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was convicted for money laundering in the United States.
The five-man panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani ruled that no record of criminal arrest or conviction was established against Tinubu by the petitioners – Obi and the LP.
Tinubu had allegedly forfeited $460,000 in the US over three decades ago and the petitioners alleged that he was involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.
However, the Tribunal ruled that no criminal charge was filed against Tinubu in the US and that the APC candidate did not go through a criminal trial in America.
The Tribunal said the petitioners failed to prove that the allegation at the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division where the forfeiture occurred was a criminal case.
Justice Tsammani said the ex-governor of Lagos State was not convicted of any crime or any criminal activity and no sentence of imprisonment or fine was imposed on him.
He said according to Section 137 of the constitution, Tinubu is not disqualified from contesting the presidential poll.
The Tribunal also ruled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was at liberty to decide the mode of transmission of election results during the presidential election on February 25, 2023.
The panel said according to Sections 52 and 65 of the Electoral Act 2022, INEC was at liberty to prescribe the manner in which election results were transmitted during the poll.
The Tribunal consequently dismissed the petition of the LP and Obi, which argued that the victory of Tinubu is annulled on the basis of the “failure” of the commission’s Results Viewing Portal (IReV) to upload election results electronically in real-time.
The Tribunal also dismissed Obi and LP’s petitions on 25 per cent votes of Tinubu in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), saying that Abuja is like other states.