The 21 states include three of the 11 states that Mr Obi won based on the final result announced by INEC.
The Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has disputed the results of the 25 February election in 21 of the 36 states in Nigeria.
The 21 states include three of the 11 states Mr Obi won based on the final result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In the states that he won, Mr Obi is challenging only the figures credited to Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who was declared winner of the keenly contested poll.
Mr Obi, who came third in the election based on INEC’s official results, filed a case Tuesday at the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja to challenge Mr Tinubu’s victory.
He said in the petition, which he filed alongside his party, that the poll was marred by various forms of corrupt practices, overvoting, votes suppression and non-compliance with the provision of the Electoral Act in various states.
He is disputing the results announced by INEC in states including Rivers, Lagos, Taraba, Benue, Adamawa, Imo, Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, and Plateau states.
The rest are Ekiti, Oyo, Ondo, Taraba, Osun, Kano, Katsina, Kwara, Gombe, Yobe and Niger.
Alleged wrong computation for Tinubu and overvoting
Mr Obi won in 11 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, based on the result INEC announced on 1 March.
He is disputing the outcome of the poll in 21 states of the federation, including three that INEC declared him to have won. The three states are – Lagos, Imo, and Plateau. The other eight states and the FCT that he won are excluded from the list.
In Lagos, Imo, Plateau and seven others “and other states of the federation” not specified in the petition, Mr Obi said “the votes recorded for the 2nd respondent (Mr Tinubu) did not comply with the legitimate process for computation of the result and disfavoured the petitioners”.
The 10 states including the three won by him are Rivers, Lagos, Taraba, Benue, Adamawa, Imo, Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, and Plateau.
In the remaining 11 states whose results he is challenging, the Labour Party candidate alleged that the outcome of the election was marred by overvoting.
He said overvoting occurred in Taraba and Borno, the home state of Mr Tinubu’s running mate and vice-president-elect, Kashim Shettima.
The 11 states plus Borno and Taraba where overvoting took place, according to Mr Obi, are Ekiti, Oyo, Ondo, Taraba, Osun, Kano, Katsina, Kwara, Gombe, Yobe and Niger.
Mr Obi said his forensic analysis of the electoral materials used for the election showed that votes cast in the polling units “exceeded the number of voters accredited on the BVAS in those states.”
The breakdown of the discrepancies in the figures is not included in the body of the petition available to the public. But the petitioners referenced a forensic analysis reporr, which they said contained the necessary details.
How INEC declared Tinubu winner
INEC had on 1 March declared Mr Tinubu the winner of the presidential election with 8,794,726 votes. Mr Tinubu led in only 12 of the 36 states of the federation.
Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who has similarly filed a separate petition to challenge the outcome of the election, came second with 6,984,520 votes. He also led in 12 states.
Mr Obi came third in the election with 6,101,533 votes, winning in 11 states and the FCT, Abuja.
Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) came fourth with 1,496,687 votes. He won in only one state.
Mr Tinubu won the election in Rivers, Borno, Jigawa, Zamfara, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo and Ogun states.
Atiku won in Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Kaduna, Gombe, Yobe, Bauchi, Adamawa and Taraba states. He also won in Osun, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa states.
Mr Obi won in Edo, Cross River, Delta, Lagos, Plateau, Imo, Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Anambra, Abia and Enugu states, as well as the FCT.
Mr Kwankwaso won in only Kano State.
‘I won the election’
Mr Obi and Labour Party maintained in their petition that they polled the majority of the lawful votes cast across the country.
The Labour candidate said he won the presidential election, but for the suppression of his votes across thousands of polling units.
Relying on the report of the inspection of the electoral materials and the report of forensic analysis, Mr Obi said he would show to the court that his votes were subtracted in many polling units and added to Mr Tinubu’s scores.
He said his votes “were unlawfully reduced and added by the 1st Respondent (INEC) to the scores of the 2nd Respondent (Mr Tinubu)”.
Besides alleging corrupt practices, the petitioners alleged that both Mr Tinubu and Mr Shettima were not qualified to contest the election as of the time it was held on 25 February.
Mr Obi said Mr Tinubu also failed to secure one-quarter of the lawful votes cast in the FCT, Abuja, as required by law.
He argued that the failure of INEC to promptly upload the results from polling units through BVAS to the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal on the day of the election invalidated the exercise.
But he urged the election petition court to review “these unlawful scores added to the 2nd Respondent and for those scores which were legitimately obtained by the Petitioners to be credited to the Petitioners’ scores.”
According to Mr Obi and his party, “when the scores unlawfully added to the 2nd Respondent are deducted, the Petitioners will have the highest number of votes in the election, as shown in the Forensic Report pleaded above.
[b]“The Petitioners aver that when the results of Polling Units, Wards, Local Governments, States are properly tabulated and calculated as required by the Electoral Act and the Regulations and Guidelines for election, the overall results of the election and the percentages scored by the Political Parties will show that the Petitioners won the Presidential election of 25 February 2023,” [/b]their petition read in part.
The petitioners, therefore, urged the court to either declare him president-elect or order a fresh election.
They sued INEC, Mr Tinubu, APC, and Mr Shettima as co-respondents to the petition.
The respondents are expected to file their separate replies to the petition.