- The lead counsel to Atiku Abubakar has said that the PDP presidential candidate has all the needed facts to prosecute his case at the tribunal and come out victorious
- Livy Uzoukwu said he is convinced that PDP won the presidential election in the first place
- According to Uzoukwu, the PDP and Atiku have sufficient facts to move the court to appreciate their case and grant us their reliefs
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Livy Uzoukwu, has said the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the just concluded election, Atiku Abubakar, has all the needed facts to prosecute his case at the tribunal and come out victorious.
Uzoukwu made the disclosure while speaking in Abuja on Monday, March 18, after leading other lawyers to file petition on behalf of Alhaji Abubakar at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on February 27, declared President Buhari, the flag-bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), winner of the presidential election.
But Abubakar and his party, PDP, were dissatisfied with the conduct of the election and the eventual declaration of Buhari as the winner.
In a bit to meet up with the 21 days stipulated by section 134 of the Electoral Act, 2010, Dr. Uzoukwu, head of Atiku/Obi legal team, led other lawyers to submit a petition on behalf of his client and the PDP Monday night.
The petition which was duly signed by Atiku Abubakar himself, has the PDP as co-petitioner while INEC, APC and President Buhari were joined as respondents.
Expressing optimism that his client would emerge victorious at the tribunal Uzoukwu said he was convinced that PDP won the presidential election in the first place.
"I believe we have sufficient facts to move the court to appreciate our case and grant us our reliefs.
"We are ready and prepared to prove our case because it all depends on proofs and we are ready to prove our case.
"We have filed the petition, which is most fundamental, with some documents," he said.
Although admitting that the legal team was currently having challenges accessing documents from INEC, the senior lawyer said that would not deter them from continuing with the suit.
"We may be having some challenges accessing documents from INEC, notwithstanding, we have filed the petition and with time, INEC shall be made to obey the orders of the court of appeal and grant us access to electoral documents," the lawyer said.
"That we have filed petition does not mean we can not make use of those documents when we eventually secure them from INEC.
Some members of the team were in INEC three times last week, they were in INEC yesterday and even today but they asked them to come tomorrow (Tuesday), that by tomorrow they will provide them with some documents.
"I do hope that INEC will keep to its words and do the needful, because they have no option as far as the matter is concerned. Because we are talking about the compliance with an order of the court," he added.
Speaking moral qualification posed on the chairperson of the Tribunal, Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, whose husband is a senator-elect under the APC, Uzoukwu said his team would wait until the matter begins at the tribunal.
"I don't want to express any opinion in that regard now, but until the matter is ready to go on, because as we speak, I do not have the facts and I don't want to speculate".
"I don't want to speculate, I still believe, with all honesty, that we have in this country, very knowledgeable and very courageous Judges and baring in mind that, with this petition, I seriously believe the judiciary will be on trial. Also, the democracy will be on trial".
To successful prosecute the case at the tribunal, Alhaji Abubakar and the PDP are said to have assembled about 20 SANs and 400 witnesses.
The team in their sought that Atiku be returned "as person who won majority of lawful votes cast at the election".
In an event that the main prayer does not scale through, the lawyers also pushed for an alternative prayer, "that the election be set aside and for the court to order a rerun".
However, Uzoukwu said the alternative prayer can only come to play if the court does not agree with us in the main prayer.
"But I believe we have substantial facts to prove our case, to prove our entitlement to the main relief. I'm convinced beyond any doubt that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar won the election," he said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Atiku asked the presidential election tribunal to declare him winner of the February 23 election.
Atiku made the request in a petition filed before the tribunal in Abuja on Monday, March 18, where he challenged President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election.
The PDP national legal adviser, Emmanuel Enoidem, said in addition to the request that Atiku be declared the winner of the election, the party is also seeking for the election to be aside over alleged widespread irregularities.
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