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Why Tribunal dismissed Atiku’s petitions against Buhari


The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), sitting in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed the petition brought before it by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his party, challenging the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the February 23, 2019, Presidential election.

The five-member panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal that sat on the Tribunal, in a lead judgment delivered by Justice Mohammed Garba held that Atiku and his party failed to prove the allegations of violation of Electoral Act and corrupt practices in the conduct of the election.

The Tribunal held that the petitioners could not prove the criminal allegations of non-accreditation, invalid votes, deliberate depletion of petitioners vote, anomalies, over-voting, wrongful collation of results in favour of Buhari and APC as well as corrupt practices beyond reasonable doubt as required by law.

The Tribunal also held that Atiku and PDP failed to establish that Buhari was not academically qualified to contest the post of president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, even as it held that the petitioners failed to also show that Buhari gave false information in the form he submitted to the electoral body to get clearance to participate in the February 23 Presidential election.In the unanimous judgment, the Tribunal agreed with the submission of Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), counsel to President Buhari that Buhari does not need to tender or attach certificate before he can get qualification for any election.

It is on that note that the Tribunal held that President Buhari was eminently qualified to contest the presidential election and resolved issues one and two against Atiku and his party.On issue three, that Buhari was not validly elected, the Tribunal held that INEC, in their submissions proved that election results were manually transmitted and not electronically via card reader as alleged by the petitioners.

The Tribunal agreed that INEC has no central server, adding that, from the testimony of the petitioners’ witnesses, it shows that collation and transmission of election results were not electronically transmitted.


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