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Presidential polls: Why Buhari’s victory must be annulled – Atiku

Godwin Tsa, Abuja

Former Vice President and the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Presidential Election Tribunal to declare the election of Predicated Muhammadu Buhari invalid by reason of fraud, corrupt practices and manipulation of results.

This is contained in the over 774-page petition he filed before the tribunal.

The petition which is predicated on four grounds specifically ‎alleged that President Buhari was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast in the election as well as substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).

Atiku further alleged that Buhari submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) an affidavit containing false information of a fundamental nature in aid of his qualification for the said election.

‎The petitioner submitted that President Buhari ‎who was declared winner of the election by INEC, was not duly elected by a majority of the lawful votes cast at the said presidential election and did not score one-quarter of the lawful votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the states in the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

He contended that “contrary to the result declared by the 1st Respondent, (INEC) it was the 1st Petitioner (Atiku) who indeed won majority of lawful votes cast and satisfied the mandatory constitutional threshold and spread across the federation and ought to have been declared winner and returned as duly elected president of Nigeria in the said election.

He noted that INEC wrongly and unlawfully credited the 2nd respondent (Buhari) with votes which were not valid or lawful votes at various stages of the election, namely, at the polling units, the ward collating centres, local government collating centres and the state collating centres, with the result that the 2nd respondent was wrongly returned when the said 2nd respondent did not score majority of lawful votes.

On allegations of corrupt practices, the petitioner ‎alleged that there were

compromised printing/production of electoral materials, manipulation/misuse of state resources, manipulation of the ballots and ballot boxes, manipulation of card readers, manipulation of accreditation and collation, manipulation of security agencies and militarisation of the election.

He added that there was manipulation of election material delivery, arbitrary arrest and detention of petitioners, members and supporters and massive thumb-printing of ballot papers.

He specifically averred that in the run-up to the presidential election of 23rd February 2019, INEC awarded the contract for the production of electoral materials, including supply of machines used in printing the permanent voters cards, to a registered company known as Activate Technologies Limited, owned by a high-ranking member of the APC, namely Alhaji Mohammed Musa, who was a senatorial candidate of the party in the National Assembly election that held on the same day with the disputed presidential election.

He further noted that the said Alhaji Mohammed Musa allegedly won the senate seat, to represent the Niger East senatorial zone in Niger State.

“This obvious abuse and willful compromise of partiality by the 1st respondent in favour of the 2nd and 3rd respondents was widely condemned by the 1st petitioner and the public.

“Rather than terminate that contract, however, the chairman of the 1st respondent, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, while admitting the fact that the contract was awarded to the APC chieftain, refused to terminate it.

Atiku further attacked the credibility of the election on the grounds that the electoral body “in order to ensure undue advantage to the 2nd respondent, posted a blood relation of the 2nd respondent, Mrs. Amina Zakari, to a sensitive position of collation of results at the national level, and insisted on her role, notwithstanding the public protestation and uproar against such partisanship.

‎He further alleged that “in a bid to improperly influence voters, the 2nd respondent, using his position as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, commenced a programme or a scheme called TRADER-MONI, through which Nigerian electorate, most especially traders across the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT Abuja, were, few weeks to the presidential election, given N10,000 each, clearly to influence votes in favour of the 2nd and 3rd respondents in the presidential election.

“In spite of the fact that there was no budgetary provision for this scheme, and in spite of public outcry against it, the 2nd respondent, through the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) went round all the states of Nigeria and the FCT, Abuja, and shared the said sum of N10,000 to traders, thus using state resources to buy votes.

“The petitioners contend that the TRADER MONI was aimed at corruptly influencing votes in favour of the 2nd and 3rd respondents, since the 2nd respondent assumed office in his first term on May 29, 2015, but did not inaugurate the scheme until few weeks or months to the scheduled 2019 presidential election.

‎On the issue of qualification, Atiku told the tribunal that Buhari does not possess the educational qualification to contest the election to the office of the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

In the stale GENERAL FORM OF AFFIDAVIT deposed to on 24th November 2014, which accompanied Form CF001 filled by the 2nd respondent in respect of the 2019 general elections, the 2nd respondent claimed that all his academic qualification documents as filled in his Presidential Form, President APC/001/2015 were currently with the Secretary, Military Board. The Nigerian military has since denied that it held or was in possession of the 2nd respondent’s educational certificates.

The petitioners will rely on the video clips/newspaper reports of the press statement issued by the military through the then Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Olajide Lalaye in January 2015.

Besides the foregoing averments, the Middle School, Katsina and Katsina Provincial Secondary School which the 2nd respondent claimed to have attended, in his Curriculum Vitae, between 1953 -1956 and 1956- 1961 respectively, were at the material time, non-existent. In this regard, the petitioners plead and shall found on the archival documents of school system in Katsina, including Middle School, Katsina and Katsina Provincial Secondary School.

The 2nd respondent in Form CF001 filled and submitted by him to the 1st respondent in Paragraph C, Column 2, Page 3, under SECONDARY, wrote “WASC,” thereby falsely claiming that qualification whereas there was no qualification known as WASC as at 1961.

He therefore prayed the tribunal to declare that Buhari was not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes cast in the said election and therefore the declaration and return of the 2nd respondent by the 1st respondent as the president of Nigeria is unlawful, undue, null, void and of no effect.

That it may be determined that the 1st petitioner was duly and validly elected and ought to be returned as president of Nigeria, having polled the highest number of lawful votes cast in the election to the office of the president of Nigeria held on 23rd February 2019, and having satisfied the constitutional requirements for the said election.

He prayed for an order directing the 1st respondent to issue Certificate of Return to the 1st petitioner as the duly elected president of Nigeria.

That it may be determined that the 2nd respondent was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the said election.

That it may be determined that the 2nd respondent submitted to the commission, affidavit containing false information of a fundamental nature in aid of his qualification for the said election.

That in the alternative, the election to the office of the president of Nigeria held on 23rd February 2019 be nullified and a fresh election ordered.
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