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Wed, Sep 6, 2023 11:35 PM

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar Loses Petition against President Bola Tinubu

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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar Loses Petition against President Bola Tinubu
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar's petition to unseat President Bola Tinubu has been dismissed by the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPC). The tribunal ruled that Atiku's petition lacked merit and failed to provide sufficient evidence to support his claims of irregularities and electoral malpractices. The decision upholds the victory of President Tinubu in the presidential election held on February 25.

ABUJA - Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the February 25, presidential election, on Wednesday, lost his bid to unseat President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, whom the Independent National Electoral Commission on March 1, declared the winner of the presidential election. Atiku in his petition marked CA/PEPC/05/2023, had sought the disqualification and nullification of Tinubu's victory at the poll.

Atiku had asked the PEPC while adopting his final address through his lead counsel, Chris Uche SAN, to do substantial justice to his petition rather than relying on technicalities to give judgment that may pervert the course of justice.

The Wazirin Adamawa had submitted that Tinubu be disqualified on the strength of the American Court judgment where he (Tinubu) was made to forfeit $460,000 on alleged narcotics drug and money laundering-related offences.

More so, Atiku insisted that the presidential election was highly flawed with widespread rigging and electoral malpractices, non-deployment of BVAS devices in the transmission of presidential election results, and substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, as amended etc.

However, delivering a ruling in some objections raised by Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN on behalf of Tinubu, Justice Moses Ugoh held that several parts of Atiku's petition have no legs upon which they can stand and survive, hence, they are incompetent.

Also, several exhibits including witness statements he tendered to establish his allegations of irregularities, and malpractices against the presidential election were expunged and discountenanced by the Tribunal.

Ugo held that, like Peter Obi's petition, Atiku did not depose several facts fundamentally required to support his petition.

Atiku among others, the court said, failed and neglected to name places where ballot boxes were snatched, the ways and manners the BVAS machine were manipulated and names of polling booths where alleged malpractices were perpetrated.

Also, the PEPC held that Atiku made grievous allegations against Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello and Chairman of Olamaboro Local Government of Kogi, Friday Adejoh but neglected to join them as respondents in the petition.

Justice Ugoh stressed that not joining Governor Bello, who was accused of electoral fraud was fatal to the petition because the governor was denied the opportunity to defend himself as required by the law.

More so, Ugo dismissed the allegations of overvoting all over Nigeria as claimed by the petitioner, pointing out that such pleadings breach provisions of the law because the specific places where the alleged overvoting took place were not disclosed.

Atiku's petition was also faulted on the ground that it introduced several new facts and allegations not pleaded in the petition.

By that, Ugo said Atiku had caught the respondents unaware adding that the tactics employed were "unfair and made him clever by half".

Some of the offending fresh facts wrongfully introduced by Atiku were allegations of a criminal conviction, certificate forgery, dual citizenship of Guinea, made against Tinubu outside the petition.

The petitioner who claimed to have polled the majority of lawful votes was said to have failed to state in clear terms, the total lawful votes he claimed to have scored.

The Court held that Atiku alleged that Tinubu did not score the majority of lawful votes but refused to make the perceived lawful votes known in his petition to the Tribunal.

Justice Stephen Jonah Adah who read another ruling on objections against the petition expunged several documents tendered by Atiku on the ground that the exhibits were made during the pendency of the petition.

Also, the evidence of several key witnesses of Atiku were expunged from the Court record having been made in manners not known to law.

The Tribunal held that the wrongful mode adopted by the PDP's presidential candidate in the construction of the petition made several paragraphs of the petition liable for striking out for want of merit.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-06 News

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