20 March 2019

Nigeria: Atiku's Election Petition Against Buhari's Victory

Photo: Vanguard
Abubakar Atiku, 2019 presidential candidate for PDP and President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) computer server shows that Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the February 23 election with about 1.6 million votes to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari, the opposition candidate claims.

This is contained in the petition filed on Monday by the PDP and Mr Abubakar, to challenge the victory of Mr Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC).

The petition, which sought to rely on 50 sets of documents, was filed before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja against INEC, Mr Buhari and the APC respectively.

On February 27, INEC declared that Mr Buhari won the election with 15,191,847 votes to defeat Mr Atiku, whom it said polled 11,262,978 votes.

But the petitioners stated in their 139-page petition that "from the data in the 1st respondent's (INEC's) server... the true, actual and correct results" from "state to state computation" showed that Mr Abubakar polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Mr Buhari whom they said scored 16,741,430 votes.

According to it, the results were the total votes scored by the candidates in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, as there was "no report on server" about the results from Rivers State as of February 25.

By this, Mr Abubakar claims to have defeated Mr Buhari with 1,615,302 votes.

One of the five grounds of the petition also tends to resuscitate the allegation that Mr Buhari was not qualified to run for the office of the president on the grounds that he did not possess the constitutional minimum qualification of a school certificate.

The five grounds of the petition read, "The 2nd respondent (Buhari) was not duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast at the election.

"The election of the 2nd respondent is invalid by reason of corrupt practices.

"The election of the 2nd Respondent is invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).

"The 2nd respondent was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the said election.

"The 2nd respondent submitted to the 1st Respondent an affidavit containing false information of a fundamental nature in aid of his qualification for the said election."

Arguing that Mr Buhari was not qualified to run for the office of the president, the petitioners argued in part, "The petitioners state that the 2nd respondent (Buhari) does not possess the educational qualification to contest the election to the office of the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Download the Petition Here.

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