Just a few days after Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, presented evidence to support his claim that he was the real winner of the February 23 polls, President Muhammadu Buhari has responded to the petition with some scathing remarks.
Backstory: INEC had declared Buhari as the winner of the election with 15,191,847 votes, while Atiku was announced as the first runner up with 11, 262,978 votes.
The PDP candidate referred to the election as a “sham” and filed a petition before the Election Tribunal, claiming that he is the true winner of the elections
What President Buhari Said: The President, who happens to be one of the respondents in the case, has been mum on the issue for a while now, without any explicit statement responding to Atiku’s claim.
However, in a preliminary objection filed by his team of lawyers led by Wole Olanipekun (SAN), the President asked the tribunal to dismiss his opposition’s suit, claiming that it was baseless and lacked evidence to support it.
- Buhari explained to the Tribunal, that he has always been the first choice ahead of Atiku in every election, going further to cite the APC 2014 primary election for its 2015 presidential candidate, where he won with 3,430 votes ahead of Atiku’s 954 votes.
- He also asked for the portions of the petition that questioned his educational qualification be struck out, as he is “eminently qualified to contest the election, having not only the minimum qualification of reading up to secondary school level, but rose to the peak of his career as a General in the Nigerian Army with cognate experience and training.”
- Buhari went further by challenging Atiku’s educational background, saying that he was much more qualified than the former vice president, to run for presidency. Calling Atiku to present his documents before the tribunal.
- He finally stated that, the petition was full of contradictions especially with regards to the South-South which the PDP claimed to have won. He called on the tribunal to dismiss the case, as the petition was “vague, nebulous and lacking in specificity”.