March 3, 2024

Tinubu and Atiku

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By Simeon OSAJIE   

The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the just concluded general election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, says he has been able to run for the office of the President of Nigeria since 1993 without any controversy because he is free from drugs and identity scandals, unlike the President-Elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

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Reacting to Tinubu’s response in which he described Atiku as a serial election loser, the former Vice President said that Tinubu is a giant in forfeiture, drug-related offences and failure to disclose dual nationality to INEC.

These were contained in Atiku’s response to Tinubu’s and All Progressives Congress (APC) reply to his petition challenging the process and the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.

Atiku said that his identity, comprising age, State of Origin and educational qualifications have never been in dispute like those of Tinubu.

In his response to Tinubu’s reply to his petition, Atiku insisted that Tinubu is constitutionally disabled from contesting for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He alleged that Tinubu is unhealthy to lead Nigeria having been indicted for drug related offences in the United States of America (USA) and made to forfeit a sum of $460,000 as a compromise agreement.

In the response filed by his lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), the PDP presidential candidate justified why the declaration of Tinubu as President-elect cannot stand, adding that against the law, Tinubu holds dual citizenship of Nigeria and Guinea, having voluntarily acquired the citizenship of the Republic of Guinea.

He also accused Tinubu of not disclosing facts of his constitutional qualifications in his Form EC9 submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), contrary to the provisions of the law.

Explanatory his request for the annulment of the declaration of Tinubu as President-elect, Atiku said that Tinubu and APC never won majority of the lawful votes cast in the February 25 presidential election.

Amongst others, the PDP presidential candidate maintained that Tinubu failed part of the constitutional requirements having failed to secure 25% of the votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, as constitutionally required.

He insisted that the return of Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential election is undue, unlawful and invalid because Tinubu did not meet the constitutional requirements as to qualification.

Rather than addressing the issues raised against him and the disputed election, Atiku said that Tinubu deliberately chose not to answer points of substance in the petition and opted for contradictory and vague facts.

In reaction to another issue raised against Atiku’s petition, the former Vice President claimed that his petition did not in any way constitute a gross abuse of any court process, adding that the originating summons of February 28, 2023, filed at the Supreme Court by Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta , Edo, and Sokoto states have since been discontinued.

He adds that parties in the suit of the six PDP controlled states are not the same in his own petition and therefore prayed the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to discountenance the objections and the averments raised against the petition by Tinubu and grant him all the reliefs sought in the petition.

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