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Claim of discrepancies in my credentials fabricated by Atiku, says Tinubu


Claim of discrepancies in my credentials fabricated by Atiku, says Tinubu

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President Bola Tinubu has said the claim that his credentials contained discrepancies was merely cooked up by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.

Tinubu said Atiku resorted to cooking up allegations against him when he and the PDP failed to secure evidence to support their claim that he (Tinubu) was not qualified to have contested that last presidential election.

In his respondent’s brief in the appeal by Atiku and the PDP before the Supreme Court, Tinubu urged the court to dismiss the appeal and affirm the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PDP) which upheld his election.

Tinubu said he was validly elected having polled the highest number of votes.

Stating that he was validly returned as the winner of the presidential poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Tinubu added that by statistics, he garnered one-quarter/25 percent of the total votes in 29 states of the federation.

He said Atiku and the PDP only managed to secure 25 percent of the total votes in 21 states of the federation, “as against the constitutional requirement of 24.7 states, which is the mathematical results of two-thirds of the 36 states of the federation and the FCT (making 37).”

Tinubu stated that having secured the highest number of valid votes cast and having fulfilled all constitutional requirements in that regard, INEC, had no option but to declare him as the winner of the presidential contest.

He added that Atiku and the PDP, being dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, on March 21, approached the PEPC “on trumped up allegations of non-compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, corrupt practices, non-scoring of the majority of lawful votes cast at the election and non-qualification of the respondent.

“The hyperbolic character of the forgoing allegations was exposed by the petition itself, which had no facts in support thereof.

“Starting from the allegation of non-qualification of the Respondent, all that the Appellants submitted to the lower court through their petition was that the 2nd Respondent (Tinubu) was at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the election not having the constitutional threshold.”

Tinubu noted that Atiku and the PDP failed to explain what they meant by “constitutional threshold” not until all the respondents in the case concluded filing their replies to the petition.

He added: “It was at this point that they rolled out their drums of cooked-up allegations of discrepancies in the 2nd respondent’s (Tinubu’s) academic qualifications, dual nationality and sundry bemusing allegations from the backdoor.

“While they also claimed to have won the highest number of votes cast at the election, as against INEC’s declaration, throughout their petition, they did not suggest an alternative score which they considered correct, whether for themselves or the Respondent.

“Though they had alleged that the election was riddled with non-compliance and corrupt practices, the paragraphs of their petition putting up these allegations were nothing short of vague, imprecise, generic and nebulous.

“For these allegations which ought to have been specifically demonstrated through facts and figures like polling units and numbers, the Appellants, through their petition, chose to regale the lower court and the Respondents with breathtaking suspense, by stating that the said facts will be disclosed in their Statistician’s report which was not part of the petition filed.

“It is only commonsensical that the Respondents will only be able to respond to the facts in the petition and not on the crucial, albeit anticipated Statistician’s report, since even the devil himself knows not the heart of man.”

Tinubu noted that out of 27 witnesses called by Atiku and the PDP during proceedings at the PEPC, 13 did not have their witness statements front-loaded with the petition.

He noted: “With these, it was obvious that the Appellants did not intend to prosecute a petition, but rather, to venture into some form of blockbuster, laced with thrilling suspense, stunning surprises and ecstatic hide and seek recreational activities; and these necessitated series of objections from the respondents, challenging the competence of the petition, as well as the itemised nebulous paragraphs of same, the statement on oath of these subpoenaed witnesses, which were not front-loaded with the petition and tons of documents sought to be tendered, which were either irrelevant or unconforming to the mandatory rules of admissibility.”

He argued that Atiku and the PDP did not demonstrate any reason why the apex should disturb any of the findings of the lower court, “which with all modesty, are rooted in law and perfect demonstration of scholarship.”

Tinubu added that even though Atiku challenged his qualifications, however, in his alternative prayer in court, he requested to have a run-off election with him.

He added: “The logical conclusion from this approbative and reprobative posture of the Appellants is that deep down in their hearts, they are convinced that the 2nd Respondent won the election, but have decided to embark on this voyage of abuse of court process.”

Tinubu noted that whereas Atiku and the PDP raised the issue of non-transmission of results, all their witnesses at the PEPC, “agreed that the election went very smoothly, where INEC complied with all the prescribed procedures.”

He argued that the tribunal was correct in arriving at its verdict and affirming his election.

Tinubu added that the Atiku and the PDP did not demonstrate any reason why the Supreme Court should disturb any of the findings of the PEPC “which with all modesty, are rooted in law and perfect demonstration of scholarship.

He said: “None of the appellants have demonstrated any reason why this honourable court should disturb any of the findings of the lower court, which, with all modesty are rooted in law and a perfect demonstration of scholarship.

“We accordingly urge this honourable court to affirm the decision of the lower court, while dismissing this appeal in its entirety, as same is lacking in merit and bona fide.

“Everything put together or summarized, this appeal is a further demonstration of the abusive nature to which the appellants have subjected court processes. The Supreme Court is urged to dismiss it.”

(The Nation)