Tribunal dismisses Atiku’s petition
The presidential election tribunal Wednesday dismissed the petition of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate Atiku Abubakar in challenging the victory of Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari at the 2019 presidential election.
The tribunal chairman Mohammed Garba said the petitioners failed to prove their petition beyond reasonable doubt and the petition “is hereby dismissed in its entirety.”
Atiku and the PDP were challenging the election result which Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Buhari winner.
INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu said Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat Atiku, who polled 11,262,978 votes.
However, Atiku and the PDP said the election was ‘massively’ rigged.
But the petitioners claimed that the election results data obtained from INEC’s server showed that they polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari whom they said scored 16,741,430 votes.
INEC, however, said that it had no server where the election results were transmitted during the February 23 presidential election.
Atiku and the PDP also claimed that Buhari was not academically qualified to contest a presidential election in Nigeria.
The opposition party and its candidate also petitioned the tribunal to nullify Buhari’s election on grounds of alleged over-voting and voter intimidation by security agents during the polls. But was dismissed by the tribunal.
PDP also petitioned the tribunal on the ground that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was not joined as an interested party in the petition.
The court held that the vice president is not a necessary party in an election petition, noting that he is attached to the candidate, so he and the president wins or lose together.
“It is the conclusion in the judgment that running mates to an election are not a necessary party,” the chairman of the tribunal Garba Mohammed said.
PDP also accused Osinbajo of criminal activities by allegedly using government funds to induce citizens during the election. The tribunal also struck out the petition.