FactCheck: Did the Presidential Tribunal dismiss Peter Obi’s drug petition against Bola Ahmed Tinubu? 

Mustapha Lawal

Claim

A Twitter user claimed the presidential tribunal had dismissed Peter Obi’s drug petition against Bola Tinubu 

Verdict

False! The presidential tribunal did not dismiss Peter Obi’s drug petition against Bola Ahmed Tinubu but rather adjourned the entire petition case to 10th May 2023.

Full-text

A Twitter user with the handle @Gen_Buhar claimed that the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi’s drug petition against President-elect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been dismissed. 

Peter Obi’s drug petition against President-Elect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been dismissed by the Judge… BAT 4 vs 0… Obidense” he tweeted around 1:54 pm on Monday, 8th May 2023, The tweet had garnered over 63.2k views, 147 retweets and 729 likes as of the time of this report. 

Another user, @abdullajayofel claimed the same in his tweet (which currently has over 126k views, 359 retweets and 1,608 likes) at around 2:12 pm on the same day. 

He tweeted “UPDATE 💥 Peter Obi drug petition against President-Elect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been dismissed by the Judge… On a serious note, what has this Got to do with the election?”

The presidential tribunal commenced its pre-hearing yesterday, 8th May 2023 on different petitions challenging the February 25 Presidential election that saw INEC declared the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu winner, having polled 8,794,726 votes ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Atiku who came second polled 6,984,520 votes and Labour Party’s Peter Obi, the second runner-up polled 6,101,533 votes.

SaharaReporters reported that five political parties: the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP), Action Alliance (AA), Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and Action Peoples Party (APP) had filed petitions to challenge Tinubu’s victory.

However, Premium Times reported that Peter Obi in a jointly filed petition with his party, Labour Party seeks five prayers (divided into two main prayers and three alternative prayers) at the Presidential Election Petition Court against the declared winner, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his running mate, the APC and INEC. 

Among the five prayers is the issue of eligibility of the APC candidate in the Feb 25 election. Peter Obi alleged that the election was characterized by various irregularities including the non-qualification of Mr Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima to contest the election.

Obi hinged the prayer on this on the claim that the APC candidate “was linked to drug trafficking by US court” leading to his eventual forfeiture of the sum of $460,000 to the American government, adding the latter is “not qualified to contest Nigerian presidency” according to a report by Nigerian Tribune dated 8th May 2023.

The subject of this fact-check report is to check whether or not the presidential tribunal had dismissed Peter Obi’s drug petition case against Bola Ahmed Tinubu as claimed by some Twitter users. 

Verification

FactCheckElections findings revealed that the presidential elections tribunal commenced its pre-hearing, yesterday 8th May 2023 and made a sitting on the petition filed by Peter Obi and the Labour Party challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.  

Channels reported that Justice Tsamani-led’s panel announced that it would commence its pre-hearing session today with three petitions. They are the petitions by Action Alliance (AA) marked: CA/PEPC/01/2023; Action Peoples Party (APP) marked: CA/PEPC/02/2023 and Peter Obi & Labour Party (LP) marked: CA/PEPC/03/2023.

The Guardian reported the Tribunal on Monday dismissed the petition by the Action Alliance (AA) challenging the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the presidential election after The Action Alliance (AA) earlier withdrew its petition at the Presidential Election Petition Court sitting in Abuja, prompting the dismissal. SaharaReporters reported that no reason was given for the withdrawal. 

 

However, Premium Times, in its timed live update at the inaugural sitting did not report the dismissal of any of Peter Obi’s petitions but rather an adjournment of the case till 10th May 2023 was reported at around 1:00 pm on 8th May 2023.

No reputable news or media platform reported the news of the dismissal of any of Peter Obi’s petitions. 

Conclusion

False! The presidential tribunal did not dismiss Peter Obi’s drug petition against Bola Ahmed Tinubu but rather adjourned the entire petition case to 10th May 2023 per reports by multiple reputable news and media platforms present at the sitting held at the court of Appeal, Abuja yesterday, 8th May 2023. 

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