Pleadings by Peter Obi at the Appeal Court sitting as a Presidential Election Tribunal
28. The Petitioners (Peter Obi and Labour Party) further plead that the 2nd Respondent (Bola Ahmed Tinubu) was also at the time of the election not qualified to contest for election to the office of President as he was fined the sum of $460,000.00 (Four- Hundred and Sixty Thousand United States Dollars) for an offence involving dishonesty, namely narcotics trafficking imposed by the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, in Case No: 93C 4483 between:
What the Nigerian Constitution 1999 states
137. (1) A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if –
(a) subject to the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution, he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria or, except in such cases as may be prescribed by the National Assembly, he has made a declaration of allegiance to such other country; or
(b) he has been elected to such office at any two previous elections; or
(c) under the law in any part of Nigeria, he is adjudged to be a lunatic or otherwise declared to be of unsound mind;
(d) he is under a sentence of death imposed by any competent court of law or tribunal in Nigeria or a sentence of imprisonment or fine for any offence involving dishonesty or fraud (by whatever name called) or for any other offence, imposed on him by any court or tribunal or substituted by a competent authority for any other sentence imposed on him by such a court or tribunal; or
(e) within a period of less than ten years before the date of the election to the office of President he has been convicted and sentenced for an offence involving dishonesty or he has been found guilty of the contravention of the Code of Conduct; or
(f) he is an undischarged bankrupt, having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in Nigeria or any other country; or
(g) being a person employed in the civil or public service of the Federation or of any State, he has not resigned, withdrawn or retired from the employment at least thirty days before the date of the election; or
(h) he is a member of any secret society; or
(i) he has been indicted for embezzlement or fraud by a Judicial Commission of Inquiry or an Administrative Panel of Inquiry or a Tribunal set up under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, a Tribunals of Inquiry Law or any other law by the Federal or State Government which indictment has been accepted by the Federal or State Government, respectively; or
(j) he has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission. (2) Where in respect of any person who has been –
(a) adjudged to be a lunatic;
(b) declared to be of unsound mind;
(c) sentenced to death or imprisonment; or (d) adjudged or declared bankrupt
(e) any appeal against the decision is pending in any court of law in accordance with any law in force in Nigeria, subsection (1) of this section shall not apply during a period beginning from the date when such appeal is lodged and ending on the date when the appeal is finally determined or, as the case may be, the appeal lapses or is abandoned, whichever is earlier.
The pleadings will fail to get relief from S137 of the constitutional provisions as a literal reading of this section states the offences to be taken into consideration for disqualification are offences under the Nigerian legal system not under foreign jurisdiction. The offences complained of by Peter Obi’s pleadings were committed in the US not in Nigeria.
There may be political repercussions for the pleadings on this heading but highlighted after the elections and by next election may be regarded as old news and already baked in by the electorate.