Declare Me Winner of Nigeria Presidential Election: Atiku Tells Tribunal

Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, requested the Presidential Election Petition Court to proclaim his victory in the February 25 presidential election, as he had won 21 states.

He declared that Bola Tinubu, the victor proclaimed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, was ineligible to run in the election due to an order of confiscation stemming from a crime correlated with drugs, alleging allegiance to another country besides Nigeria as well as acquiring citizenship in another one and submitting a counterfeited certificate to the first respondent (INEC).

Atiku asserted that Tinubu’s election as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had been nullified due to its disregard for obligatory procedures stipulated in the Electoral Act, 2022. Specifically, it had neglected to use electronic transmission when collating and cross-checking results.

In his final address to the PEPC on July 20th, he and the PDP asked for Tinubu’s victory to be invalidated by INEC.

In his last statement issued by his principal legal representative, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), Atiku maintained that INEC’s claim of him winning in 21 states is neither denied, withdrawn, disproved nor declared wrong throughout the tribunal proceedings to date.

In its reply to Atiku’s petition, INEC declared that the PDP presidential candidate was successful in 21 states during the February 25th election.

INEC declared that Atiku’s party, the PDP, had triumphed in the states of Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Osun, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara.

Atiku argued that since INEC had declared him the winner of those states, without refuting the claim during the proceedings, the tribunal should uphold the declaration.

The concluding part of the address stated that, in its pleadings, namely paragraph 18 on page 13 of its reply to the petition, the first respondent (INEC) acknowledged without question that the petitioners had won 21 states in the presidential election – and admission contrary to their interest.

The non-utilization of electronic collation meant that the first respondent (INEC) had to adjust the admitted outcome of 21 states originally attributed to the first petitioner, down to 12.

It has been demonstrated that the 2nd respondent did not gain the minimum one-quarter of the valid votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja as stipulated by the Constitution of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), hence their return as winner of the presidential election held on 25th February 2023 was unlawful and unconstitutional.

The petitioners have demonstrated that the second respondent did not earn a majority of the valid votes in the election. 41 (e). The respondents provided inadequate evidence in their defense, failing to produce essential witnesses and having no substantial response to the grievance. 6.02 We strongly believe this is a time of great significance for not only our Nation but also for its Justice System.

He argued that simply because a presidential election has not been nullified previously in Nigeria does not mean it should not be done now, since it is the right thing to do.

Wahab Akinlade

Akinlade I. WAHAB is a dedicated journalist and the proprietor of I-WAHAB Media. He embarked on his career at Murhi International TV (MiTV) and subsequently joined Radio Nigeria as a Judicial Correspondent.With a profound interest in legal reporting, he currently holds the positions of Chairman at the National Association of Judicial Correspondents (NAJUC), Ikeja Branch, and Chairman at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Radio Nigeria Chapel.As the owner of I-WAHAB Media, he has successfully established Top Court News, a platform renowned for providing comprehensive coverage of court cases and legal developments, with the aim of promoting transparency within the judicial system.Akinlade's diligent work and unwavering commitment to ethical reporting have earned him immense respect within the Nigerian journalism community.

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