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Tinubu informs the court that Atiku’s plea contains inconsistencies and uncertainty

Jul 18, 2023 | 2023 Elections | 0 comments

President Bola Tinubu calls Atiku Abubakar’s appeal disputing his February 25 presidential win “repetitions, inconsistencies, and confusion.”

Wole Olanipekun, Mr. Tinubu’s principal attorney, wants the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja to reject Atiku’s complaint for lacking “content.”

Atiku, the People’s Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, wants the court to overturn Mr. Tinubu’s win.

Atiku and the PDP filed the petition, accusing INEC of rigging the election for Mr. Tinubu.

They further asserted that INEC disobeyed election regulations by failing to submit polling unit results to the result viewing platform (IREV) in real time. They said this allowed Mr. Tinubu and the APC to tamper with the ballots.

In a separate court case, Peter Obi, who finished third behind Atiku, is also contesting the election results.

Both asked Haruna Tsammani’s five-member judicial panel to proclaim them president.

Mr. Tinubu’s lawyer, Mr. Olanipekun, said in his last written statement that Atiku failed to prove the president’s election fraud charges.

“Throughout the petition and throughout the trial, at no section did they (Atiku and PDP) disclose what they deemed to be the legitimate votes cast for both parties and the number of unlawful votes added to the respondent’s (Mr. Tinubu’s) or the number unlawfully removed from their votes.”

Atiku said Mr. Tinubu did not get the most legitimate votes in February.

Mr. Olanipekun called the petitioners’ claim of “serious non-compliance with the constitution and Election Act” “flimsy.”

He claimed Atiku and the PDP “did not reject the fact that it is the real results in the individual polling units that were properly transported to the ward collation centres, up to the local government collation centres, state collation centres and the national collation centre.”

Mr. Olanipekun reminded the court that most of Atiku’s witnesses testified “about this chain of communication” of election results.

Mr. Olanipekun called Atiku’s witnesses “hearsay.”

“Without fear of contradiction, the petitioners have no one witness whose testimony might be classified as beneficial or manageable to their case.”

‘Why I summoned just one witness.’
Mr. Olanipekun justified summoning one of the 39 witnesses he had indicated to present in support of his client’s case by stating that Opeyemi Bamidele’s evidence was adequate to prove the president’s defence.

Senator and lawyer, Mr. Bamidele’s testimony showed “undoubted competency” on the court’s concerns.

In the 10th National Assembly, Mr. Bamidele represents Ekiti Central Senatorial District.

Mr Olanipekun noted in court documents that Mr. Bamidele, one of the Electoral Act’s drafters, “expressed the stance and purpose of the legislature, especially, as it pertains to the proper manner of transmission as well as transfer and collation of results.”

Mr. Bamidele told the court that the electoral umpire might transmit poll results in any way it wanted.

Atiku is likely to respond to Mr. Tinubu’s final written message.

When all parties, including INEC and APC, have exchanged their final written addresses, the court will set a date for adoption and closing arguments.

Mr. Tinubu was proclaimed president by INEC on March 1. On May 29, he became Nigeria’s 16th president.

Atiku received 6,984,520 votes versus Mr. Tinubu’s 8,794,721 votes. The Labour Party’s Peter Obi finished third with 6,101,533 votes.

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