Presidential election petition: PDP heads to Supreme Court over Tribunal  judgment

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…Tribunal Jugement is victory for Nigerians- Buhari

…as Tinubu, Abiodun congratulate President Buhari

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is heading to the supreme court in Abuja over the outcome of the presidential election petition judgment that was in favour of All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the victory of President Buhari during the February 23, 2019 Presidential election.

The tribunal dismissed Atiku’s petition for not being able to prove satisfactorily all the allegations he brought before the panel.

Delivering the judgement in Abuja, the five-man panel led by Justice Mohammed Garba, dismissed the petition in its entirety.

The PDP said it  rejected the judgment of presidential petition tribunal that, describing it as provocative, barefaced subversion of justice and direct assault on the integrity of our nation’s justice system.

The National Publicity Secretary of the opposition party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan in a statement said the party’s lawyers are upbeat in obtaining justice at the supreme court.

In his words, “The PDP, however, encouraged Nigerians to remain calm and not to lose hope or surrender to despondency or self-help, as our lawyers are upbeat in obtaining justice at the Supreme Court.

“This is more so as the tribunal itself admitted that there are several errors in the judgment.”

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

According to him, the PDP finds 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 Buhari, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence.

In his words, “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.

“Nigerians and the international community watched in utter disbelief when the tribunal ruled that one need not provide a copy or certified true copy of educational certificate such individual claimed to possess, contrary to established proof of claims of certification.

“The party notes as strange that the court even went ahead to provide rationalizations in favour of President Buhari, even when all hard facts before it shows that he did not possess the claimed educational certificate and that the Army was not in possession of his WAEC certificate as claimed in the affidavit he deposed to in his Presidential nomination form.

“The PDP also described as shocking that the court approved the flawed declaration of President Buhari as the winner of the election despite evidence to show the perpetration of illegalities, manipulations, alterations and subtraction of valid votes freely given to Atiku Abubakar by Nigerians.

”Indeed, the pervading melancholic atmosphere across our nation since the verdict is a direct indication that the judgment has not fulfilled the desires and expectations of Nigerians.”

The National Publicity Secretary, APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said  the judgment, no doubt, would go down in the annals of our nation as the longest and detailed, spanning almost 10 hours.

According to him, “The Judgement by the five-member validates the decision of most Nigerians to do away with the past as expressed in their overwhelming votes in the 2019 elections.

“The PDP and Atiku’s petition was largely hinged on the educational qualification of President Muhammadu Buhari and tales of an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) server and allegations of electronic transmission of election results.

“This was rightly dismissed by the Tribunal for lacking in merit. From the outset, our party was not perturbed over the PDP and Atiku’s petition, which will go down in Nigeria’s history as the most frivolous in the history of Election Petition.

“Infact our position has now been justified that the PDP and Atiku’s petition was a complete waste of time. In their puerile efforts, they insisted on taking the country on a circus and wild goose chase.

He explained further that, “Going forward, APC’s victory at the presidential polls and the election tribunal represents our collective desire as a people to remain focus on the progressive growth and development of our country’s economy, fight against corruption, and providing security.

“Consequently, we have taken a bold step by rescuing our nation from the satanic era of PDP, when our collective interests were being corruptly traded among a few pillagers.

“We note, unfortunately, the continuous efforts being made by the unpatriotic elements in PDP, having held our country down for nearly two decades, to truncate our movement towards greatness.

“We, however, remain resolute in this journey being ably led by President Buhari. The APC administration would lead this country to the fulfillment of its destiny.”

 

Tribunal Jugement is victory for Nigerians- Buhari

However, President Muhammadu Buhari has said the ruling of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on the February 23, 2019 poll, is a victory for Nigerians who trooped out to overwhelmingly elect him for a second term in office.

The Special Adviser to the President, (Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina in a statement on Wednesday said, “Good conscience fears no evil report. I was unperturbed all along, because I knew Nigerians freely gave us the mandate. We are now vindicated,” the President declares.

He dedicates the victory to God, and to Nigerians, while also commending the judiciary for “dispensing justice without fear or favour.”

President Buhari extends a hand of fellowship to those who had felt aggrieved at the outcome of the election, and went to court, noting that it was within their democratic rights.

He notes, however, that with the pronouncement of the judiciary, “it is time for the country to move forward as one cohesive body, putting behind us all bickering and potential distractions over an election in which Nigerians spoke clearly and resoundingly.”

 

Tribunal Verdict, Vindication of President Buhari’s Personal Character, Electoral Victory-Tinubu

The APC National Stalwart, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari over his victory at the Presidential Elections Tribunal on Wednesday.

He said the tribunal verdict was a resounding judicial vindication of President Buhari’s personal character and his electoral victory.

In a statement entitled “President Election Tribunal Verdict, Justice Served, Democracy Saved,” Asiwaju Tinubu said, “With the unanimous ruling of the Court of Appeal dismissing the Presidential Election Petition of PDP candidate Alhaji Abubakar Atiku today, the rule of law came to the defense of democracy by affirming the sovereign will of the people.

“Their will was expressed during the February 23 election when a vast, compelling majority of the electorate cast their ballots for President Buhari to serve a second term as Head of State and Commander-in- Chief of our beloved nation.

“Whatever partisan side one might take, all must agree that today was a bright day for the administration of justice. The Court of Appeal rendered a comprehensive judgment of extraordinary thoroughness, reason and breadth on the many issues presented in this important matter.

“The Court did so in the open air and before the television cameras that gave eyes to the entire nation to watch this fine moment for the Nigerian judiciary. The court did its job by following the law of the land wherever it might lead.

“As a Nigerian, I was proud to see both sides of this dispute behave with utmost civility and decorum despite the weight of the matters at stake and the intensity of the legal arguments presented. It is in this spirit that we must always seek to resolve even our most stubborn differences that we may emerge a stronger yet more peaceful nation.

According to him, “Former Vice President Atiku and his legal team put forth some imaginative, if desperate, arguments as was their right. They fought vigorously for their positions and were allowed to do so without pressure and without fear. No one used the power of the state to intimidate them in court just as no one used the power of the state to intimidate them during the election. As the Court affirmed, the election was free and fair and the final result should stand.

“The PDP claimed that President Buhari was unqualified to run for office. To his credit, President Buhari took this assault against his character with customary grace. The court thoroughly vindicated him. Based on his education and the experiences gained through his fine career, the Court determined the evidence presented by Atiku showed that the President was “eminently qualified” and had done nothing untoward in his election filings with INEC.

“Atiku also placed unfounded reliance on the assertion of the use of card readers to send election results to an imaginary server. The court found that the operative law did not provide for the alleged electronic transmission of polling booth results.

“ Atiku could not present evidence that such transmissions ever took place. In fact, such transmissions were technologically unfeasible. Card readers were not meant for this task and the purported mystery server was but a phantom in the PDP’s mind.

“To their credit, Atiku’s team argued and pressed their case energetically; but in the end their claims were based on things that existed only in their minds. They were arguing what they wanted to have happened not what actually took place. The Court, on the other hand, can only deal with facts at hand not the imaginings of the mind.

“Most importantly, the Court found that the election was properly conducted and that President Buhari won by the wide margin counted and recorded by INEC. Atiku was given the chance to prove his case. In the end, he did not produce the requisite evidence. This failure was not from lack of trying; the failure was because such evidence simply does not exist. President Buhari won the election openly and honestly.

“I congratulate President Buhari for this resounding judicial vindication of his personal character and of his electoral victory. I know Mr. President as a magnanimous person who will reach out his hand in friendship to Atiku in the spirit of reconciliation, national tranquility and progress. We may disagree and argue as brothers but never as enemies who cannot resolve whatever difference that has come between us.

“The next step lies with Atiku. He can decide to continue with these claims or he can take the more prudent approach by accepting the express will of the people and placing his ample talents in the service of the nation in his private capacity.

“In the meantime, this day shall stand as a proud day for Nigeria, a day when the rule of law stood in full support of democratic elections and of the sovereignty of the Nigerian people to select the leaders of their choice”.

 

Abiodun congratulates Buhari over victory at tribunal

The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun expressed joy at the outcome of the verdict confirming the mandate of President Mohammadu Buhari.

“It is victory for Nigerians and democracy.  It shows that while minority would always have their say, the majority would always have their way”, he said after the tribunal dismissed the case brought by the former Vice President and candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar.

“I am very proud of the Judiciary. The have again, for the umpteenth time demonstrated exemplary candour, courage and integrity for which modern democracies thrive,” the statement issued by Gov Abiodun’s Chief Press Secretary,  Kunle Somorin said.

While urging Alh. Abubakar to that the verdict as the voice of the people, Gov Abiodun reiterated conviction in the fact that power belongs to God who bestows it on whom He wishes.

He called on all democrats to support the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari, who has the divine mandate of God and endorsement of the people till 2023 to keep leading the country.

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