By Chuks Collins, Awka
The international support group of Nigeria’s Labour Party(LP) presidential candidate in the coming Feb 25,2023 election, Peter Obi has requested the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to disqualify the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu from the race over alleged drug related offences.
The support group operating under the aegis of Peter Obi Support Network (POSN) noted that the alleged drug related offences and other allegations bordering on perjury filed against him at Abuja High Court occurred in the United States of America(USA).
This was contained in a statement from the spokesman of the group, Mr FCC Jones Onwuasoanya, copy of which was made available to journalists today.
The group noted that “investigation in the public domain had established that the APC candidate was at a time involved in heroin trafficking and money laundering in Chicago, USA during the 1980s and early 1990s.
POSN added that Tinubu’s drug dealing, which was extensively explained in a report titled, “Bola Ahmed Tinubu: From Drug Lord to Presidential Candidate,” according to the West Africa Weekly, was a result of months of collaboration between Legal Practitioner, Mike Enahoro-Ebah and the Chicago law firm, Leahy, Eisenberg & Fraenkel Ltd.
The group further said that there were established discrepancies in some of the information the APC Presidential candidate supplied to the INEC in his Form EC9. “Information obtained from Tinubu’s U.S. academic and employment records sharply contrast with the ones given in his INEC Form EC9 and in several media appearances.
According to the group, Different dates of birth, failure to provide evidence of attendance of a school that appears on his academic record, failure to disclose a secondary citizenship, forgery of a university degree certificate, a potential instance of identity theft and others, were the basis for the legal action filed by Enahoro-Ebah.”
The group also called the INEC’s attention to section 29 of the Electoral Act, 2022, which provides that false information on Form EC9 constitutes grounds for disqualification of a candidate for an election, provided another contestant files a suit at the Federal High Court seeking to declare the information provided as false.
POSN equally expressed doubt whether Tinubu would face such a challenge from within his party, the APC, or from the presidential aspirants in other political parties, but expressed joy that Enahoro-Ebah has taken the bull by the horn by filing a criminal complaint against him, as provided for under section 88 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
“Under our extant electoral jurisprudence, giving false information, under any guise, in one’s INEC Form EC9 is a solid ground for disqualification of a candidate standing for an election in Nigeria. Section 137(1) (j) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as altered, provides that no person shall be qualified for election to the office of the President, if he has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“Consequent upon the foregoing, we are calling on INEC to rise up to its constitutional mandate and disqualify the APC candidate, Tinubu from the 2023 election, as there is damning evidence to show his ineligibility to contest the election,” the group submitted.