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APC challenges Atiku’s nationality. The former vice president replies

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Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the 2019 election, has said the All Progressives Congress (APC) does not deserve an answer, after contesting his Nigerian citizenship.

The former vice-president stated this in a statement, signed by his media aide, Paul Ibe, on Saturday.

Atiku and the PDP are challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, claiming that from the data in INEC’s server, he actually polled a total of 18,356,732 votes while Buhari recorded 16,741,430.

But APC urged the tribunal to dismiss PDP’s petition for incompetence, arguing that Section 131(a) of the Constitution stipulates that a person must be a citizen of Nigeria by birth to be qualified to contest for the office of the President.

Atiku’s statement read: “Dear citizens of our beloved country, Nigeria, His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, told us previously that he has verifiable and incontrovertible evidence to show that the last Presidential elections were fraudulent, not credible and did not reflect the will of the Nigerian people, and he has been vindicated by the response of the All Progressives Congress and its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, to his petition to the Electoral Tribunal hearing the petition he filed.

“The former Vice President based his case on facts and statistical evidence and challenged both the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC, to disprove his factual submissions.

“The fact that the APC chose to base its defence on the ridiculous assertion that the Waziri Adamawa is not a Nigerian should show to Nigerians the type of characters we have in the APC and its government, whose legitimacy runs out on May 29, 2019.

“The position of the APC is so pedestrian and shows such straw clutching desperation on their part, that I shall not dignify it with an answer. Our lawyers would, of course, do the needful in court. But the point I want to draw the attention of Nigerians to is that both the APC and its candidate have by this infantile logic admitted to the fact that they trampled on the will of Nigerians and that their only defence is to attempt an unconstitutional redefinition of the term ‘Nigerian’.

“I am, however, confident in the Nigerian judiciary, as well as in the Nigerian people. I trust that the Tribunal will treat such a claim with the contempt it deserves. We must maintain our fidelity to the rule of law and to our fountain of origin, the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended).

“Atiku Abubakar has served our nation diligently in various capacities, form the civil service, where he rose through merit, to the top of his chosen field, to public service, where, by the grace of God, he was the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Moreover, he has committed his assets and talents to developing our nation through the provision of tens of thousands of direct jobs and hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs.”

Atiku added that those who have made Nigeria the world headquarters for extreme poverty, are the very people whose Nigerians should be in doubt “and not a man who worked with President Olusegun Obasanjo to double the per capita Income of our nation in less than eight years.”

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Politics

APC demands apology from Atiku, PDP

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, Thursday taunted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate in the 2019 general election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, for losing their bid to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the election.


The duo urged them to apologize to Nigerians for challenging the president’s declaration as the winner of the election, adding that Buhari will win the former vice president even at the World Court or the Supreme Court.

But the PDP, which has signified its intention to appeal the judgment of the tribunal, which rejected its petition to nullify Buhari’s election, at the Supreme Court, fired back, saying their triumphalism would be transient.

Mohammed called on Atiku and the PDP to apologise for deliberately distracting the Buhari administration with what he described as a frivolous election petition.

In a statement yesterday from St. Petersburg, Russia, Mohammed acknowledged that while the PDP and its candidate reserved the right to pursue their petition to the highest level, “they will be better served by dropping their toga of desperation and realising that there is a limit to tomfoolery.”

“Nigerians are tired of this orchestrated distraction, and will rather wish that the opposition, having lost at the polls and in court, will now join hands with the government to move Nigeria to the next level.

“This is more so that the judgment validating the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari was unanimous that the petition lacked merit, that the petitioners failed to prove any of the grounds upon which their case was anchored and that President Buhari is eminently qualified to contest the poll,” he added.

According to him, instead of casting aspersion on the judiciary with their poorly-framed reaction to the ruling of the tribunal, the PDP and its candidate should be thanking their stars that they are not being prosecuted for coming to court with fraudulently-obtained evidence.

“It is intriguing that a party that trumpets the rule of law at every turn will present, in open court, evidence it claimed to have obtained by hacking into a supposed INEC server.

“Don’t they realise this is a criminal act for which they are liable? Instead of threatening to head to the Supreme Court, driven more by ego than commonsense, they should be sorry for allowing desperation to overwhelm their sense of reasoning. Enough is enough,” Mohammed stated.

He commended the tribunal for not only doing justice to the case but for explaining, in painstaking details that lasted hours, how it arrived at its judgment.

”We also thank Nigerians who voted massively to re-elect President Buhari for their continued support,” he said.

On his part, Oshiomhole yesterday said Buhari and the APC would defeat the PDP and Atiku should they go to the Supreme Court, and if possible, the World Court, to challenge the ruling of the tribunal.

Oshiomhole spoke with State House correspondents when he accompanied APC women leaders from the national, zonal and 36 states of the federation to meet with Buhari.

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Tribunal sacks Senate’s spokesperson

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The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on Tuesday, nullified the election of Senator Dayo Adeyeye of Ekiti South. Justice Danladi Adeck, a member of the three-man tribunal, read the unanimous judgment.

He declared former Minority Leader and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Biodun Olujimi, winner of the poll.

When the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Adeyeye of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the February 23 election, Olujimi petitioned the tribunal that she was the real winner of the election.
The former Minority Leader submitted that she scored the highest number of lawful votes cast in the election.

She prayed the tribunal to nullify Adeyeye’s victory and order a supplementary election.

The petitioner claimed that the election was not conducted in substantial compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, having been allegedly fraught with all manner of irregularities.

Justice Adeck nullified the elections in some polling units to declare Olujimi the authentic winner of the poll.

Olujimi polled a total of 54,894 votes to emerge victorious over Adeyeye, who polled 52,243 votes.

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Buhari, Atiku to know fate today

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The dispute over the last presidential election, won by President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on March 18, will come to a close today(Wednesday) before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).

President Muhammudu Buhari and Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar

The main opposition party – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the election, Atiku Abubakar had filed the petition, in which they among others, queried Buhari’s qualification, victory at the election and sought to be declared winners. In the alternative, they prayed the court to void the election.

The PEPC, sitting at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, on August 21, and adjourned for judgment after entertaining final submissions from lawyers to parties.

The Presiding Justice of the PEPC, Justice Mohammed Garba, announced while adjourning proceedings on August 21, that parties would be notified when the court decides of a date for judgment. Parties to the petition have, since then, waited with bated breath for the judgment, with the petitioners reportedly writing the court last week in relation to the pending judgment.

At about 12noon on Tuesday, information filtered in from the court that the much-awaited judgment has been scheduled for today.

The spokesperson for the Court of Appeal, Mrs. Sa’adatu Kachalla confirmed the development in a brief message on Tuesday.

Mrs. Kachalla said: “Please be informed that notice has been given for judgment to be delivered tomorrow, September 11, 2019, at 9 am in the presidential election petition.

Four petitions were originally filed against the election, including the one by Atiku and the PDP, marked: CA/PEPC/002/2019, filed on Marc 18, 2019.

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Presidential Election Tribunal Adjourns Till August 21

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The presidential election tribunal has said that it will deliver judgement in the petition filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar on Septemeber 11, 2019.

President Muhammudu Buhari and Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar

All the parties in the suit had made their final submissions on August 21, when the tribunal declared that the date for the judgement will be communicated at a later date.

Read Also: Court Orders Final Forfeiture Of Diezani’s Jewellery Worth $40m

The PDP and its candidate are seeking to nullify the election of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 poll.

They insist that the election was marred by irregularities and are asking the tribunal to declared Atiku as the duly elected president.

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