The campaign committee of Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi has rejected the idea of hiring exclusively lawyers of South-East descent to contest Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s declaration as the winner of the February 25 polls.
Election: The Independent National Electoral Commission, which Obi’s party identified as a respondent in its pleas before the presidential election petitions tribunal, was also included as a respondent in the legal struggle against Tinubu.
The rebuttal follows the claim that the lawyers who went to meet with INEC’s National Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, were mostly recruited from one part of the country.
Tinubu received 8,794,726 votes, defeating the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and the LP flag bearer, who received 6,984,520 and 6,984,520 votes, respectively.
However, Atiku and Obi both rejected the INEC findings, stating at separate press conferences that the election was marred by violence and major cheating.
Two weeks ago, the two leading opposition candidates were reported to have contacted the court to request authorization to check election materials used during the election.
According to the PUNCH, Obi hired at least 20 Senior Advocates of Nigeria to contest the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.
According to party sources, the legal team was assembled from various chambers across the country to reclaim his mandate in the election in which Tinubu was proclaimed the winner.
Nevertheless, in response to the charge that Obi just selected his legal team from among his Igbo kinsmen, Yunusa Tanko, Chief Spokesperson for the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, refuted the claim, claiming that the initial list that sparked the controversy was inadequate.
According to a second batch of the list he provided on Tuesday, while the legal team received by INEC during Monday’s inspection was led by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu, SAN, the PCC legal directorate is led by Victoria Shanti, an Adamawa State resident.
“Our head of department for the legal team itself is Victoria Shanti from Adamawa State,” Tanko explained. Yakubu Bawa, a Katsina-based legal icon, was also part of the 60-member team that visited INEC on Monday.
“If you look attentively at their names, you’ll notice that Obi has a diverse legal staff.”
Hon. J. S. Okutepa, Olumide Ayeni, Olalekan Ojo, Audu Anuga, Prof Agbo Madaki, Nguemu Uja, Dayo Ashomibare, F. N. Ogbe, Precious Amukpo, David Agashua, L. Michaelson, and Olusola Ebisemi are also members of the legal team.