Election tribunal: Obi’s legal team cuts across tribes, says campaign council

The campaign council of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has dismissed recruiting only lawyers of the South-East descent for its challenge of the declaration of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the winner of the February 25 elections.

The legal battle against Tinubu also involved the Independent National Electoral Commission, which Obi’s party named as a respondent in its prayers before the presidential election petitions tribunal.

The rebuttal is coming in the wake of the allegation that the lawyers who went for a meeting with the National Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, were mainly recruited from a section of the country.

Tinubu had polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and the LP flag bearer, who got 6,984,520 and 6,101,533 votes respectively.

But Atiku and Obi rejected the results announced by the INEC, with each claiming at separate press conferences that the election was marred by violence and massive rigging.

The drama took a twist two weeks ago when the two major opposition candidates were reported to have approached the court to seek permission for the inspection of election materials used during the poll.

The PUNCH reported how Obi engaged the services of at least 20 Senior Advocates of Nigeria to challenge the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.

Sources within the party disclosed that the legal team was drawn from different chambers across the country to reclaim his mandate in the contest where Tinubu was declared as the winner.

But reacting to the allegation that Obi merely recruited his legal team among his Igbo kinsmen, the Chief Spokesman for the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, debunked the claim saying the initial list that generated the heat was incomplete.

A second batch of the list he released on Tuesday indicated that though the legal team that was received by INEC during Monday’s inspection was led by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr Livy Uzoukwu, SAN, the PCC legal directorate is headed by Victoria Shanti, who is from Adamawa State.

Tanko said, “Our head of department for the legal team itself is Victoria Shanti from Adamawa State. She is supported by the Katsina-based legal icon, Yakubu Bawa, who was also among the 60-member team that visited INEC on Monday.

“When you look closely at their names, you will discover that Obi has a diverse list of legal team.”

Other members of the legal counsel include 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.

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