2023 election: Atiku, PDP withdraw lawsuit against INEC
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, has withdrawn a fresh application they filed against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
PDP and Atiku on Wednesday decided to withdraw a fresh lawsuit they filed so as to compel INEC to allow their agents to participate in the process of sorting out ballot papers that were used for the presidential election of February 25, 2023.
The PDP and Atiku who are separately challenging the outcome of the election which the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu won, informed the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), sitting at the Court of Appeal in Abuja that they were no longer interested in the application.
When the motion ex-parte, marked: CA/PEC/10M/2023, was called up for hearing on Wednesday, Atiku, through his team of lawyers led by Mr. Joe Kyari Gadzama (SAN), told the court that he had filed a notice of discontinuance.
“We filed the application owing to challenges and administrative bottlenecks we encountered at the INEC office when we went for access to the election materials as ordered by the court,” Gadzama said.
“However, before the application dated March 13 could be slated for hearing, INEC, on its own, called our legal team for a meeting.
“It was at that meeting which held yesterday (Tuesday) that all the grey areas were sorted out, with INEC, pledging to allow our agents to observe the process of sorting out some of the electoral materials we requested for, especially the ballot papers.
Following the withdrawal of the application, Justice Joseph Ikyegh-led three-member panel struck it out.
The PDP had earlier called for the resignation, arrest and investigation of INEC chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu over alleged manipulation of the February 25 presidential election result.
In a keenly contested election, PDP presidential candidate and former Vice President, Atiku lost to Tinubu of the ruling APC.
While Atiku polled 6,984,520 votes to come second in the race, Tinubu came out top in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states and secured significant numbers in several other states to claim the highest number of votes, 8,794,726.
Peter Obi, the candidate of the Labour Party (LP), finished the race with 6,101,533. Atiku and PDP after the announcement rejected the results and accused INEC of manipulating the results to favour Tinubu and the APC.
The PDP presidential candidate said he is displeased with INEC for not uploading results on the Result Viewing Portal (IReV) from polling units on election day.
He alleged that the election was the worst conducted since the return of democratic rule to the country and he went ahead to challenge the outcome of the election, stating that he believes the judiciary will do justice to the matter.
“The weekend election was neither free nor fair. Preliminary assessments indicate that it is the worst conducted elections since the return to democratic rule. The manipulation and fraud that attended this election were unprecedented in the history of our nation,” Atiku said.