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July 14, 2024

Declare me president, Atiku tells tribunal in final address

Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, has urged the Presidential Election Petition Court to declare him the winner of the presidential election held on February 25, having won in 21 states.

This was as he stated that the winner announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, Bola Tinubu, was not qualified to contest the election “having regard to an order of criminal forfeiture against him arising from a drug-related offence, his declaration of allegiance to a country other than Nigeria and acquisition of citizenship of another country and presenting a forged certificate to the first respondent (INEC)’.

He made the request in his final address filed at the PEPC on July 20 in support of his joint petition with the PDP, seeking the nullification of INEC’s declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the poll.

Atiku also stated that he had proven that the return of Tinubu in the election as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was ‘invalidated by reason of substantial non-compliance with the mandatory provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 on electronic transmission of results for collation and verification by deliberate bypass of and failure to transmit the election results electronically’.

In the final address signed by his lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), Atiku said that INEC’s assertion that he won in 21 states was neither ‘disputed, retracted, debunked nor claimed to be an error through the proceedings of the tribunal so far’.

INEC had, in its response to Atiku’s petition, asserted that the PDP presidential candidate won 21 states of the federation in the February 25 presidential poll.

The 21 states listed by INEC as having been won by Atiku and the PDP were Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bavelsa, Borno, Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Osun, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara.

Atiku said that since INEC, which on its own averments claimed that he won the states and did not rebut the assertion throughout the proceedings, the tribunal should proceed to uphold the declaration.

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