Connect with us

BIG STORY

Presidential Tribunal Begins Hearing of Atiku’s Petition Against Buhari, INEC

Avatar

Published

on

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has fixed today (Wednesday) to commence pre-hearing session on four petitions that are seeking to invalidate President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election. Buhari and Atiku.

The petitioners are separately challenging the declaration of President Buhari as the legitimate winner of the February 23 presidential election. Vanguard learned that the tribunal has already issued pre-hearing notice on all the parties.

Basically, the session affords the tribunal the opportunity to meet the parties with a view to setting up modalities to be adopted in the actual hearing of substantive issues in dispute. Meantime, aside the petition marked CA/PEPC/002/2019, which was entered against Buhari by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, Atiku, on March 18, the second petition marked CA/ PEPC/001/2019, was by the presidential candidate of the Hope Democratic Party, HDP, Chief Ambrose Owuru who secured a total of 1,663 in the election.

While the third petition, CA/PEPC/004/2019, was lodged by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, Pastor Aminchi Habu, who is seeking a fresh election on the basis that his party’s logo was not included in the ballot paper.

The last petition with suit No. CA/PEPC/003/2019, was filed by the Coalition For Change, C4C and its presidential candidate, Geff Chizee Ojinka, who are contending that Buhari’s re-election was vitiated by substantial non-compliance with mandatory statutory provisions.

The petitioners maintained that the irregularity substantially affected the election, “such that the 1st Respondent was not entitled to be returned as the Winner of the Presidential election”. Remarkably, unlike in all the other petitions where only Buhari, the APC and INEC were cited as Respondents, the C4C, which garnered a total of 2,391 votes at the presidential poll, cited the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as the 2nd Respondent in its case.

It will be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had on February 27, declared that Buhari garnered a total of 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest rival, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the opposition PDP, who it said polled a total of 11,262,978 votes.

However, Atiku had almost immediately the result was announced, vowed to upturn it in court. Specifically, in their joint petition, Atiku and his party, insisted that data they secured from INEC’s server, revealed that they clearly defeated President Buhari with over 1.6million votes. The petitioners alleged that INEC had at various stages of the presidential election, unlawful allocated votes to President Buhari, saying they would adduce oral and documentary evidence to show that result of the election as announced by the electoral body, did not represent the lawful valid votes cast Atiku alleged that in some states, INEC, deducted lawful votes that accrued to him, in its bid to ensure that Buhari was returned back to office.

The petitioners said they would call evidence of statisticians, forensic examiners and finger-print experts at the hearing of the petition to establish that the scores credited to Buhari were not the product of actual votes validly cast at the polling units.

“The Petitioners plead and shall rely on electronic video recordings, newspaper reports, photographs and photographic images of several infractions of the electoral process by the Respondents”, they added.

More so, in one of the five grounds of the petition, Atiku and the PDP maintained that Buhari was not qualified to run for the office of the President, contending that he does not possess the constitutional minimum qualification of a school certificate. The petitioners serialised results that were recorded from each state of the federation in order to prove that the alleged fraudulent allocation of votes to Buhari and the APC, took place at the polling units, the ward collating centres, local government collating centres and the State collating centres.

They argued that proper collation and summation of the presidential election results would show that contrary to what INEC declared, Atiku, garnered a total of 18,356,732 votes, ahead of Buhari who they said got a total of 16,741,430 votes.

“The Petitioners state that Smart Card Readers deployed by the 1st Respondent, in addition to accreditation, equally transmitted electronically the results of voting from polling units directly to the server of the 1st Respondent.

“The Presiding Officers of the 1st Respondent directly inputted the results from the polling units at the end of voting and transmitted directly to the server, in addition to manually taking the Form EC8As to the Wards for collation.

“The 1st Respondent is hereby given notice to produce the records of results from each polling unit uploaded and transmitted electronically by officials of the 1st Respondent through smart card readers to the 1st Respondent’s Servers.

“The Petitioners plead and rely on the 1st Respondent’s Manual Technologies 2019, and notice is hereby given to the 1st Respondent to produce same at the trial. The 1st Respondent’s agents at the polling units used the Smart Card Reader for electronic collation and transmission of results.

“The Petitioners plead and shall rely on and play at the trial, the video demonstration by the 1st Respondent of the deployment of Smart Card Reader for authentication of accreditation and for transmission of data. Wherefore, the Petitioners pray jointly and severally against the Respondents as follows: “That it may be determined that the 2nd Respondent (Buhari) was not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes cast in the said election and therefore the declaration and return of the 2nd Respondent by the 1st Respondent as the President of Nigeria is unlawful, undue, null, void and of no effect.

“That it may be determined that the 1st Petitioner (Atiku) was duly and validly elected and ought to be returned as President of Nigeria, having polled the highest number of lawful votes cast at the election to the office of the President of Nigeria held on 23rd February 2019 and having satisfied the constitutional requirements for the said election. “An order directing the 1st Respondent to issue Certificate of Return to the 1st Petitioner as the duly elected President of Nigeria.

“That it may be determined that the 2nd Respondent was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the said election. “That it may be determined that the 2nd Respondent submitted to the Commission affidavit containing false information of a fundamental nature in aid of his qualification for the said election”. In the alternative, the petitioners prayed the tribunal to nullify the February 23 presidential election and order a fresh poll.

However, in a swift reaction, both Buhari and the APC, filed preliminary objections to challenge the competence of the petitions, even as they challenged Atiku’s locus-standi to even participate in the Presidential poll. In his objection, Buhari described Atiku as a serial loser, boasting that he had always defeated him in every electoral contest that both of them took part in.

President Buhari insisted that electorates always chose him ahead of Atiku in both inter-party or intra-party contests, using the 2014 presidential primaries the All Progressives Congress, APC, as an instance.

“In particular, at the primary election conducted by the 3rd respondent (APC) in 2014, to pick its presidential candidate for the 2015 election, the 1st petitioner and respondent, amongst others, were the candidates; and while the respondent polled 3,430 votes, 1st petitioner came a distant third with 954 votes”. Besides, President Buhari, queried the powers of the tribunal to nullify his election victory at the poll, contending that the joint petition Atiku and the PDP entered against him was incompetent as it was based on conjectures.

Insisting that reliefs the petitioners are seeking from the tribunal were “vague, nebulous and lacking in specificity”, argued that most of the issues and grounds of the petition were not only “mutually exclusive”, but also outside the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

He contended that by virtue of section 31(5) and (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended, only the Federal High Court or High Court of a State has jurisdiction to adjudicate on some the issues, among which included the allegation that he was bereft of the requisite educational qualification. Buhari told the tribunal that contrary to Atiku’s allegation that he submitted false academic qualifications in the Form CF001 he used to secure clearance from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, he said he was at the time of the election, “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 said he has more educational qualification than Atiku. Likewise, his party, the APC, in its own objection, branded Atiku an alien, alleging that he is not a Nigerian by birth and therefore was not qualified to contest the February 23 presidential poll. APC told the tribunal that the PDP candidate is a Cameroonian.

According to APC, Atiku, was born on November 25, 1946 in Jada, Adamawa, in Northern Cameroon and is therefore a citizen of Cameroon and not a Nigerian by birth. It told the tribunal that prior to 1919, Cameroon was being administered by Germany, adding that following the defeat of Germany in World War 1, which ended in 1918, Cameroon, became part of a League of Nations mandate territory which consisted of French Cameroon and British Cameroon in 1919. APC noted that in 1961, a plebiscite was held in British Cameroon to determine whether the people preferred to stay in Cameroon or align with Nigeria. It stressed that while Northern Cameroon preferred a union with Nigeria, the Southern Cameroon chose alignment with the mother country, saying it was as a result of the plebiscite that Northern Cameroon, which included Adamawa, became part of Nigeria. The ruling party argued that contrary to Atiku’s claims in his petition, he had no right to be voted for as a candidate in the election to the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria held on February 23, 2019.

Buhari, APC, out to cover corruption, incompetence- PDP It averred that by reason of Atiku’s ineligibility to contest the election, all votes credited to him and the PDP in the February 23 election ought to be deemed as wasted votes. APC contended that most of the claims contained in Atiku’s petition have become statute barred, arguing that the Tribunal was therefore bereft of the jurisdiction to entertain it.

However, in a further response he filed before the tribunal, Atiku, rebuked the APC, describing the allegation that he is a Cameroonian as puerile, face saving, vexatious, absolutely and completely unfounded.

Atiku maintained that he is a full blooded Nigerian, even as he urged the tribunal to ignore what he termed as “extraneous facts, contradictory, diversionary, evasive, speculative and vague assertions”, by both the APC and President Buhari. Atiku told the tribunal that contrary to APC’s allegation that he is an alien, he said he is a Nigerian by birth and a Fulani by tribe, adding that his parents were from Jigawa and Sokoto states. INEC replacing servers nationwide, PDP alleges

Vanguard

BIG STORY

El-Zakzaky: Steer Clear Lagos, South West —- Yoruba Youths Warn Shi’ites, Sponsors

Avatar

Published

on

The Progressive Yoruba Youth Council, the umbrella body of southwest youths, has cautioned members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, against taking their protest to Lagos State and the entire “Oduduwa region.”

They warned members of the IMN to desist from their alleged plan of inflicting harm on innocent citizens in an attempt to make the country ungovernable.

Addressing newsmen on Thursday in Lagos, Dayo Jacob, National Chairman of the group, fingered some politicians as faces behind the activities of the sect.

The group warned the IMN and their sponsors to desist from their “nefarious activities and explore peaceful means of airing their grievances if they are indeed genuine.”

The statement read: “The Progressive Yoruba Youth Council the umbrella organisation for the youths of Oduduwa extraction in South West Nigeria dedicated to sustaining the ideals of the Oduduwa Empire took a cursory look at the sudden resurgence of the violent tendencies of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) with a view to ascertaining the motives behind their actions and putting issues in proper perspective for the discerning members of the general public.

“The Islamic Movement in Nigeria in recent times has undertaken violent protest in the federal capital territory Abuja and some parts of Nigeria in an attempt to drive home a hidden agenda of making the country ungovernable and thereby subjecting innocent citizens to untold hardship.

“The Progressive Yoruba Youth Council in line with its core mandate of bringing to the fore issues that affects the relative peace and tranquility in the Oduduwa kingdom and by extension Nigeria, undertook a systematic research on the issues been canvassed by the IMN that led to the death of law enforcement officers and the disruption of peace and tranquillity in the country.

“The Progressive Yoruba Youth Council consequently deployed its resources and network across the country with the sole aim of unraveling the motives of the IMN that led to the resurgence of violent protest in the country.

“The Progressive Yoruba Youth Council commissioned a high powered delegation of a special investigative committee to look at the issues objectively by activating its array of the network in Nigeria, and the findings were subjected to series of checks in an attempt to put forward a balanced discovery for the members of the unsuspecting general public.

“The findings of the committee were mind-boggling, and an indication the indeed the activities of the IMN are sponsored by individuals and organizations with an ulterior motive on the continued existence of Nigeria as a country.

“It was discovered that some disgruntled politicians who ended up at the losing side during the recently conducted general elections were behind the resurgence of the activities of the IMN in Nigeria, and with a vow ensure that the country is made ungovernable for the present administration.

“This much was gathered by the various report gathered from credible sources which indicated that the protest by the IMN is sponsored by wealthy politicians that are yet to get over their electoral defeat at the recently concluded general elections in the country.

“These set of politicians have devoted a vast amount of money towards actualizing their nefarious motive by mobilizing the IMN with dangerous arms and ammunition as well as logistics for wreaking havoc on innocent citizens.

“We also have it on competent authority that a key member of the position party that aspired for one of the highest position in the country is indeed the brain behind the protest in the country. This individual owing to his massive war chest has devoted a large amount of money through proxies to continue to encourage and fund the activities of the IMN towards painting a picture of a high level of insecurity in the country.

“It was discovered that the target of the IMN is innocent citizens that are going about their normal businesses and operatives of the security agencies which culminated in the disruption of businesses and the death of some police officers.

“The Progressive Yoruba Youth Council, having studied the facts before it consequently made the following resolutions.

“The IMN and their sponsors should desist from their nefarious activities and explore peaceful means of airing their grievances if they are indeed genuine.

“That the politicians that have vowed to make the country ungovernable by devoting vast amounts of money in the destabilization plot should desist from such as it has become apparent that national interest should surpass personal and selfish interest.

“That the IMN and its sponsors should steer clear southwest Nigeria and other parts of Oduduwa kingdom in the interest of peace and tranquillity.

“That the IMN should in clear terms desist from extending their nefarious activities to Lagos State, the commercial nerve center of the country as such moves would be resisted vehemently.

“That the interest of the country should be taken into consideration due to the heterogeneous nature of the country at the risk of insulting the sensibilities of the generality of Nigerians.

“That those politicians that are behind the violent activities of the IMN should have a rethink and explore other civil avenues towards driving home their reservations on the electoral mandate freely given to the present administration by the people of Nigeria.

“That gives the magnitude of the evidence at the disposal of the Progressive Yoruba Youth Council, there would be no hiding place for sponsors of political unrest in the country.

“That the Progressive Yoruba Youth Council has initiated various mechanism towards ensuring that sponsors of violent protests in the country are made to face the full wrath of the law given the present circumstances.

“That the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable and as such, they should have a rethink in their destabilization plot and instead channel their time and resources towards productive ventures in the interest of peace and tranquillity.

“That the Progressive Yoruba Youth Congress has notified its members of the impending plot by the IMN and its political sponsors to disrupt activities in southwest Nigeria.

“That the Progressive Yoruba Youth Council would not hesitate to present the array evidence of the destabilization plot to the general public and the various security agencies in the country.”

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

‘I Felt Ridiculed Contesting Against A Dancer’ —- Oyetola Mocks PDP’s Adeleke

Gbemileke Ajayi

Published

on

The Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, has said he felt ridiculed contesting against the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the candidate in the last governorship election in the state, Ademola Adeleke.

Following the election, which was conducted last year, the Supreme Court had a few weeks ago affirmed Oyetola as the winner of the contentious election.

However, Oyetola, while speaking when he received the leadership of the Social Democratic Party, SDP-led by Professor Yemi Farounbi, said the PDP governorship candidate should have been screened out of the race.

The governor stated that the lack of control in Nigeria’s electoral system gave Adeleke the opportunity to contest against him.

He said: “The country’s electoral system is weak, especially regarding the screening of candidates, which gave room for somebody like Ademola Adeleke to contest for the governorship seat of the state.

“Sometimes when I sit down and realize that I was actually contesting with Adeleke, who is best at dancing, I felt ridiculed, very ridiculed. It would have been a tragedy for our state if the whole thing had turned the other way round.

“Anybody that is seriously concerned about the development of the state would at least be interested in whoever is going to pilot the affairs of the state.

“One wonders why the country’s electoral laws would have allowed that guy to even contest in the first instance. We don’t have control. Even in the north where we believe they’re disadvantaged in terms of education, they put in the best always. See whoever goes for any political office in the North is always the best of their stuck.”

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

Two Days After Making A Public Declaration Of N48bn Asset, Presidency Set To Verify Governor Makinde’s Source Of Income

Avatar

Published

on

An anti-corruption agency under the Presidency, Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), has said it will verify the N48 billion worth of assets declared by the newly inaugurated Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.

The Director, Oyo State office of CCB, Mr. Moses Atolagbe, disclosed this to reporters in Ibadan on Wednesday.

He stated that the verification will commence as soon as relevant directives were given from the CCB headquarters

Atolagbe also said assets of the officials of the last administration in the state would be verified.

He added that there were a few people in the last administration of the state who were yet to comply with the asset declaration.

He said: “We have a few people that have not complied with the position of the law.

“They are very few in number; some of them are out of the country and others are based it on health ground.

“They have got in touch with the bureau and one of them showed up on Monday.

“We will just give them a little ample opportunity when they don’t comply they would be prosecuted.

“We have done that before, a former commissioner Oyo State in time past had been prosecuted for failure to comply.”

Recall that Governor Makinde had earlier declared personal assets worth N48bn.

Continue Reading

Most Popular