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Supreme Court says PDP, Atiku failed to prove their case

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The Supreme Court, explaining why the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, lost their appeal against the court verdict regarding the February 23 Presidential Elections, said the Appellants failed to prove their case in court.

The presiding Justice John Okoro ruled that President Muhammadu Buhari was eminently qualified to contest the 2019 presidential election, explaining that the unanimous decision of the court delivered on October 30, 2019, was in total agreement with the verdict of the lower court which upheld and affirmed the election of President Buhari.

He held that the failure of the appellants to call credible witnesses was fatal to their case as they presented only five witnesses including a star witness who relied on “hearsay evidence”.

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He added that the appellants failed to prove issues of over-voting when it could not produce authentic voters register to validate its claim.

Justice Okoro added that the unanimous decision of the court delivered on 30 October 30, 2019, was in total agreement with the verdict of the lower court which upheld and affirmed the election of Buhari.

The quorum of the Supreme Court maintained its sitting on the petition appeal brought before it by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, against the Judgment of the Court of Appeal regarding the February 23 Presidential Elections despite absence of appellant counsel in the matter.

It may be recalled that on October 30, the apex court had in a summary judgment led by Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, affirmed the victory of President Buhari and the APC while it dismissed the appeal of the appellant PDP and Atiku Abubakar as it promised to give full reasons on a different date for its decision.

The PDP, Atiku lawyers who numbered up to 20 Senior Advocates and several young lawyers were absent while respondent counsel including the Senior Advocates and other lawyers with the legal teams of the All Progressives Congress (APC), its candidate, President Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were present in court.

Counsel to President Muhammadu Buhari, Alex Iziyon (SAN), at the resumed sitting, however, drew the attention of the court to the absence of the PDP and their counsel, saying it is against the practice to read judgment in the absence of the appellants.
Justice John Inyang Okoro, presiding over the quorum of three justices, held that counsel to the PDP and Atiku were all served with court notices on Wednesday and their absence will not stop the court proceeding from the reading of reasons for its judgment on October 30.

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