Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have tasked the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to determine the petition against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, on its merit rather than technicalities.
While calling on the tribunal to ensure substantial justice, the petitioners insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari was not qualified to have contested the election and as such should be disqualified by the tribunal.
One of the lawyer in Atiku’s legal team, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) said it is the expectation of his client that the judiciary, as the last hope of the common man, will be dauntless in addressing the substance of the petition by the “peoples’ candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in the collective quest to retrieve a stolen mandate through the legal process.
“We have made a solid case before the panel. Our client, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, had also presented his case supported by credible evidence. We had presented incontrovertible evidence to show that our Presidential mandate was stolen. Every Nigerian now looks on to the judicial officers for justice.
“Nigerians are waiting and hoping that the judiciary will have the courage to do justice in the presidential election petition.”
The petitioners had in their final written addresses said the three respondents could not present a credible defence.
They equally insisted that they have proved all allegations contained in their petition against the conduct of the February 23 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a 43-page final address filed by their lead counsel, Dr. Levy Uzoukwu (SAN), Atiku and PDP claimed to have established the fact that Buhari did not possess the requisite academic qualification for the position of president.
The petitioners said even Buhari’s own witnesses under cross examination admitted to the fact that Buhari did not possess a school certificate, being the basic requirements for contesting for the office of the president.
On the purported Cambridge University certificate tendered by Buhari before the tribunal, the petitioners asked why “it was easier for Buhari to go all the way to Cambridge in the United Kingdom to obtain a bogus documents that his own witnesses said was not a certificate, instead of just driving down the street in Abuja to the Army Headquarters or placing a phone call to the Secretary of the Military Board in Abuja to hurry over with his certificate or certificates.”
“A comparison of the purported Cambridge Assessment International Education Certifying Statement of the purported West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate and a certified true copy of the purported confidential result sheet of the University of Cambridge West African School Certificate of 1961 for the Provincial Secondary School, Katsina reveals many discrepancies in the suppose result.
“One listed eight subjects that the candidate therein mentioned one ‘Mohamed Buhari’ allegedly sat for, the other six subjects, both documents are therefore unreliable as both cannot be correct. The contradiction must count against the second respondent.”
Another false claim by Buhari, according to the petitioners is that he attended, “Elementary School, Daura and Mai Aduwa 1948-52”. Elementary School Daura is totally different from Mai Aduwa, their locations are totally different. He also claimed he entered Middle School Katsina in 1953, however, the petitioners submitted that by 1953, the Middle School system had been abolished in the northern region of Nigeria.
On the claim that his certificates were with the military, the petitioners submitted that Buhari failed woefully to prove the claim, “rather the petitioners’ evidence to the contrary was not contested nor challenged.”
It is also the case of the petitioners that they have successfully proved that the Nigerian Army had denied being in possession of Buhari’s alleged certificates.
On the issue of rigging and non compliance with the Electoral Act, the petitioners said with the plethora of evidence tendered and witnesses called they have been able to show to the tribunal that Buhari’s election was invalid.