Presidential tribunal dismisses PDP, Atiku’s petition

President Muhammadu Buhari and PDP presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar

……PDP rejects verdict, says it’s subversion of justice

 

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the February 23, 2019 poll.

The Justice Mohammed Garba-led tribunal unanimously dismissed the case for lacking in merit after resolving all the five issues raised in the case against the petitioners.

Justice Garba, who read the lead judgment held that none of the grounds upon which the petition was anchored was proved.

The tribunal held that the petitioners merely dumped documents particularly electoral materials, including result sheets,  used for the election on the tribunal without demonstrating them by tying the evidence of any of their 62 witnesses to the documents in their bid to prove the allegations in their petition.

The tribunal held that none of the documents tendered by the petitioners was utilised to prove the allegations, such as overvoting.

It added that contrary to the claim by the petitioners, Buhari was eminently qualified educationally to contest the election.

It added that Buhari did not give false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission to aid his educational qualification to contest the poll as alleged by the petitioner.

Justice Garba also held that the petitioners failed to prove that the results were transmitted electronically by card reader.

He ruled, “In the final result,  I have come to the conclusion, which is inevitable and unavoidable, that the petitioners have not discharged the burden of proof required of any of the grounds of the petition in paragraph 15 of the petition.

“This petition is accordingly, and hereby dismissed in its entirety.”

Other members of the panel were Justices Abdul Aboki, Joseph Ikyegh, Samuel Oseji, and Peter Ige.

The judgment which started around  9:30 a.m. on Wednesday ended at 5:58 p.m. when the other members of the panel delivered their supporting opinions.

……PDP rejects verdict, says it’s subversion of justice

The Peoples Democratic Party on Wednesday said it completely rejected the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on the petition of its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, against the electoral victory of President Muhammadu Buhari, who was the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the February 2019 presidential election.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement said the judgement was provocative, barefaced subversion of justice and a direct assault on the integrity of the nation’s justice system.

He said that PDP was particularly shocked that the tribunal allegedly failed to point to justice despite, what he called, the flawless evidence laid before it, showing that  Buhari was not only unqualified to contest the election but also did not score the majority of valid votes at the polls.

He said, “PDP finds it as bewildering that a court of law could validate a clear case of perjury and declaration of false information in a sworn affidavit, as firmly established against President Muhammadu Buhari, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence.

“The party is also rudely shocked that the Court took over the roles of the Respondents’ lawyers who clearly abandoned their pleadings by refusing to call evidence in defense of the petition. The court raked up all manner of excuses to make up for the yawning gaps occasioned by the total absence of any evidence from the Respondents.”

THE PUNCH

 

 

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