Connect with us


Just In: Tribunal dismisses PDP, Atiku’s petition


The presidential election petition tribunal on Wednesday dismissed the petition brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar challenging the election of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The court held, in the lead judgment by Justice Mohammed Garba, held that the petitioners failed to prove their case.

READ ALSO: Xenophobia: Immigration palaver delay arrival of 317 Nigerians

It also said it has come to an inevitable conclusion that the petitioners have not proved any of the grounds of the petition as known by law and consequently discarded the petition in its entirety.

“And the petition is hereby dismissed in its entirety,” says the leading judge, Mohammed Garba.

This development followed a petition dated March 18, by Atiku and PDP challenging the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that Buhari as the winner of the February 23, presidential election.

Before the judgment, however, the tribunal took out time to rule on certain pending motions and applications by the parties in the matter.

Part of the resolved applications was that the exclusion of Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo from the petition did not negate the legality of the petition by the petitioner contrary to INEC’s claim.

This is because the tribunal said the constitution places the position of the Deputy Governor and vice president in the shadow as appendages. It further affirmed that the candidates in those capacities are being envisaged in the eyes of the law as interested parties and not necessary parties.

MORE READING!  10 die as Fulani farmers, Fulani herders clash in Bauchi

Further, the tribunal dismissed the INEC motion seeking to strike out Atiku’s application challenging Buhari’s qualification as a pre-election matter.

It was ruled that section 138 (1) (a) of the electoral act allows for the filing of the petition relating to an allegation of false information. The tribunal, therefore, ruled that it has within its powers to treat the application and make a determination of the details as contained in the petition.

Chairman of the tribunal, Mohammed Garba said,

“I’m of the view that section 138 (1) does not fall in the category of a pre-election matter.

Also, the tribunal struck out the APC motion alleging that Atiku was a Cameroonian and affirmed subsequently that Atiku is a Nigerian and, so qualified to contest the presidential election.

But the tribunal dismissed part of the PDP petition alleging that the ruling APC deployed security officers to manipulate the 2019 presidential election. It said that the PDP ought to have included the security officers allegedly involved in the petition as part of the suit.

Besides, the tribunal refused the application by INEC fo nullify the documents and witnesses presented by the PDP on grounds that the petitioners made wrong spelling of the lead counsel, Levi Uzoukwu’s name in their petition.

MORE READING!  Interstate travel: We may increase fares, NURTW says

For the allegations of electoral malpractices by the petitioners, the APC and INEC urged the tribunal to strike it out, alleging it was vague and nebulous.

But the tribunal refused. It decided that the allegations are not vague and nebulous as claimed by the respondents even though specific areas the malpractices allegedly took place were not mentioned.

In the main allegations of none possession of minimum education qualification and submission of affidavit containing false information to INEC against Buhari, the tribunal after going through the whole hog of legal fireworks as made by the counsels, affirmed that, “the second respondent (Buhari) was not only qualified but eminently qualified to contest the presidential election”. It, therefore, dismissed the petitioners’ petition saying, the arguments go to no issue and was a rebuttable presumption.

The tribunal also pointed out that the evidence tendered challenging Buhari’s academic qualification were not to be relied upon since the PDP was not the maker of the certificate.

As for the controversial use of the INEC server and card reader machines, the tribunal said there was no subsisting electoral law mandating the use of smart card reader, a situation it maintained, has not changed since 2015.

It also said the card readers could only be used to administer the voter’s card and authenticate the voter but not to authenticate election results.
The five-member panel of the tribunal said the PDP’s application suggesting the use of a central server for the collation of result was, therefore, misconceived.

MORE READING!  Afenifere to Buhari: Sack service chiefs like you did APC NWC

In part of the petition over the alleged use of a central server, the court noted that the PDP had said that Section 9 of the Electoral Act was amended in 2015.

The panel’s chairman said,

“The issue is: Can it truly be said that the section amended actually empowered INEC to transmit election results electronically?

“The court only has a duty to interpret the law. The court has no power to amend the law.”

The court read out the import of the provision, stating that Section 22 (a) does not provide for electronic transmission of results.

The court then read through other sections of the law and added that

“It is undeniable that the transmission of election result is manual at different and all levels of the elections at different stages from the states to the national level.

“There is no provision authorising the first respondent or any of its officers to transfer election results to any of the servers. There is also nothing allowing the first respondent to use the smart card reader for the collation of results.”

“I’m not aware that the card reader machine has replaced the voters’ register”.



JUST IN: Buhari to address Nigerians on Democracy Day



President, Major General (Retd.) Muhammadu Buhari will on Friday (tomorrow) address the nation in commemoration of this year’s Democracy Day.

According to a statement on Thursday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President’s message will be broadcast by 7 am.

The statement read, “To commemorate Nigeria’s Democracy Day, President Muhammadu Buhari will broadcast to the nation on Friday, June 12, 2020, at 7 am.

“Television and radio stations, as well as other electronic media outlets, are enjoined to hook up to the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority and Radio Nigeria respectively for the broadcast.”

MORE READING!  10 die as Fulani farmers, Fulani herders clash in Bauchi
Continue Reading


JUST IN: Nigeria records 229 new COVID-19 cases, total now 8,068



The National Centre for Disease Control has confirmed 229 new cases of Coronavirus in Nigeria which brings the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 8068

NCDC made this known via a tweet on its official Twitter handle @NCDCgov.


229 new cases of #COVID19;


MORE READING!  Why I pleaded guilty to $11m fraud, Invictus Obi reveals

8068 cases of #COVID19 in Nigeria
Discharged: 2311
Deaths: 233

Continue Reading


JUST IN: Buhari appoints New Chief of Staff



Ibrahim Gambari

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Prof. Ibrahim Gambari as the new Chief of Staff.

Proffessor Gambari replaces former Chief of Staff, late Abba Kyari who died of coronavirus.

More to come…

MORE READING!  Why I pleaded guilty to $11m fraud, Invictus Obi reveals
Continue Reading