- Atiku Abubakar’s lawyers say they’ll rely on three grounds to get President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the Presidential Election Tribunal overturned by the Supreme Court
- Levy Uzoukwu (SAN), Atiku’s lead counsel, said the first ground upon which the challenge would be based, is the issue of qualification
- Uzoukwu said the issue of server, and canceled votes, will be the other two grounds for challenging the tribunal’s ruling
- Mike Ozekhome (SAN), another counsel to the PDP candidate, also insisted that several things were wrong with the tribunal’s judgment, and that an appeal will be mounted
Lawyers for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, say they’ll rely on three grounds to get President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the Presidential Election Tribunal overturned by the Supreme Court.
Buhari’s victory at the polls was confirmed in a unanimous judgment by the five-man tribunal, and Atiku and his lawyers will be challenging the ruling, Daily Trust reports.
Legit.ng gathers that Levy Uzoukwu (SAN), Atiku’s lead counsel, said the first ground upon which the challenge would be based, is the issue of qualification.
Uzoukwu stated that contrary to the tribunal’s position that copies of certificates listed don’t need to be attached, the INEC Form CF001 clearly states that before you swear to an affidavit, you must attach evidence of qualifications.
The second ground, according to Uzoukwu, is the issue of server. He said: “Just look at the issue of the server, which has now thoroughly embarrassed them; the presiding justice unequivocally said the existence of the server was not proved.
“Now the second justice, who gave the second judgment, said that the petitioners recklessly hacked into the server and shamelessly presented the material to the court. This completely contradicts what the presiding justice said.
“That is not all, Justice Oseji came from another angle and said that the petitioners proved the issue of the server, and agreed with us that server is a storage device, which a computer is and that the INEC relied on our case and called no evidence. So, I just don’t understand.”
Uzoukwu said the third ground for challenge is the issue of canceled votes.
He said: “Another fundamental one, where we indicated that the areas put together, where elections did not take place, the total number of voters nullified the difference of the votes between Atiku and Buhari. They didn’t say one word on any of that.
“In this one, we subpoenaed INEC, which brought Form EC40G, where on its own tabulated areas, election did not take place and the registered number of voters came to 2.7 million, where elections were cancelled. We tendered this and addressed it copiously.
“We also tendered what they published on their website. I think that one was 2.6 million, where they organised supplementary elections for National Assembly, and elections were cancelled. It took place simultaneously with the presidential. Accreditation was also simultaneously by the same parties.
“At the point of voting, you go to the box for National Assembly. So, you cannot say that for presidential, election took place and for National Assembly, election did not take place in the same polling unit.
“We addressed all these issues. But they cleverly departed from it and not a word on it, and moved on as if nothing happened.
“We are going to articulate all these in our Notice of Appeal. We have 14 days and they have not given us the judgment because they said they were going to correct some errors.”
Mike Ozekhome (SAN), another counsel to the PDP candidate, also insisted that several things were wrong with the tribunal’s judgment; among which were poor evaluation of evidence, non-evaluation of evidence, misplacement of exactly what the case of the petitioners is, and the fact of provisions of the Electoral Act being misinterpreted and misapplied.
He said: “At the Supreme Court, there will be seven very good heads that will hear the appeal from here. There is no question about that; we will appeal the judgment.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that James Akinloye, president of the Initiative to Save Democracy, outlined three reasons why Alhaji Atiku Abubakar could not defeat President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
Akinloye said that Atiku’s petition was filled with many contradictions.
He pointed out that the former vice president of Nigeria had said card readers had showed that he got over 16 million votes; yet, at another point, said that the same card readers were barely used in 11 northern states.
He also chided Atiku for basing his petition on a “non-existent server”; a claim which he referred to as “ridiculous”.
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