Obi-Datti Inviting Insurrection, Actions Treasonable – FG Cautions

The Federal Government (FG) on Tuesday said the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, risked being prosecuted for treason on their utterances in relation to the February 25 presidential election.

Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, who gave the warning in Washington, United States on Tuesday, said Obi and Baba-Ahmed’s statements amounted to insurrection, adding that the duo were inciting people to violence over the outcome of the poll.

However, swiftly, the LP candidate and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who refuted the allegations, describing them as reckless, warned the FG against toying with the idea of arresting the ex-governor of Anambra State.

Information Nigeria reports that since the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was declared the president-elect, having polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and Obi, who got 6,984,520 and 6,101,533 votes, respectively, the LP candidate and his running mate have been faulting the electoral process.

Moreso, despite filing petitions challenging the results at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, Obi and Baba-Ahmed have insisted on the cancellation of the poll which they claimed was characterised by rigging and violence.

Recall that in recent interview on national television, Baba-Ahmed asked the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, not to swear in the president-elect on May 29 while some of their supporters had called for the interim national government.

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In the latest development, while addressing some media organisations and think tanks on the election at the US capital, Mohammed said it was wrong for Obi to seek redress in court over the outcome of the polls and in another breath incite people to violence.

The minister stated, “Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, cannot be threatening Nigerians that if the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, of the All Progressives Congress is sworn-in on May 29, it will be the end of democracy in Nigeria.

“This is treason. You cannot be inviting insurrection, and this is what they are doing. Obi’s statement is that of a desperate person, he is not the democrat that he claimed to be. A democrat should not believe in democracy only when he wins the election.”

According to him, in challenging the election result, there was no pathway to victory for either Obi or Atiku because they failed to meet the constitutional requirements to be declared as president.

“The constitution has stringent criteria for anybody who wants to be president of the country. Not only must he have the plurality of votes cast in an election, but he must also have scored one-quarter of the votes cast in at least 25 states.

“Only the president-elect met the criteria by scoring 8.79m votes and having one-quarter of all the votes cast in 29 states of the federation,” Mohammed further stated.

The minister said Atiku who came second with 6.9m votes was only able to make one-quarter of the votes cast in 21 states, adding that Obi came third with 6.1m votes but won only one-quarter of votes cast in 15 states.

“You cannot win an election in a poll where you came to a distant third position and failed to meet constitutional requirements.

“Peter Obi, while complaining of fraud, has not disowned his victory in Lagos,” he said.