On May 8, 2023, a Twitter user with the handle @Gen_Buhar claimed that Peter Obi’s drug petition against Bola Ahmed Tinubu had been dismissed. This tweet has been viewed over 74,000 times at the time of writing.
On Wait First, we divide claims into three categories. A valid claim is a fresh banana. A false claim is a burnt dodo. And a misleading claim is a cold zobo.
So, is this claim valid?
ALSO READ — Explainer: All the Petitions Filed Against BAT’s Presidency
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) of the All Progressive Congress (APC) winner of the presidential election held on February 25, 2023. INEC declared BAT the winner with 8,794,726 votes. However, several political parties, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP), Action Alliance (AA), Allied Peoples Movement (APM), and Action Peoples Party (APP), filed petitions challenging the election results.
The pre-hearing of the presidential tribunal, which started on May 8, 2023, will address these petitions. Peter Obi filed a joint petition with his party raising five “prayers” against the declared winner, BAT, his running mate, the APC, and INEC.
One of the petitions Obi and his party filed focuses on BAT’s eligibility in the concluded presidential election. Obi alleges that BAT was linked to drug trafficking by a US court. This then led to his forfeiture of $460,000 to the American government. He argues that, as a result, BAT is not qualified to contest the Nigerian presidency.
This fact check aims to see if the claim that a court has dismissed the drug petition is valid.
We looked into this claim with support from our partners, FactCheck Elections. Here’s what they found:
“FactCheckElections findings revealed that the presidential elections tribunal commenced its pre-hearing on May 8, 2023, and made a sitting on the petition filed by Peter Obi and the Labour Party challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.
Channels reported that the Justice Tsamani-led panel announced it would commence its pre-hearing session with three petitions. They are the petitions by Action Alliance (AA) marked: CA/PEPC/01/2023; Action Peoples Party (APP) marked: CA/PEPC/02/2023 and Peter Obi & Labour Party (LP) marked: CA/PEPC/03/2023.
The Guardian reported the Tribunal on Monday dismissed the petition by the AA challenging the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the presidential election after the AA withdrew its petition at the Presidential Election Petition Court sitting in Abuja, prompting the dismissal. According to SaharaReporters, AA gave no reason for the withdrawal.
However, Premium Times, in its timed live update at the inaugural sitting, did not report the dismissal of any of Peter Obi’s petitions. The court announced an adjournment of the case till May 10, 2023. This was reported at around 1:00 p.m. on May 8, 2023.
No reputable news or media platform reported the news of the dismissal of any of Peter Obi’s petitions.”
The case has been again adjourned to May 17, 2023, “to enable parties to harmonise their processes.”
The claim that Peter Obi’s drug petition against BAT has been dismissed is false and, therefore, burnt dodo. Hearings on the matter will resume on May 17, 2023.