Atiku, PDP lose at presidential election tribunal

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*Buhari, Atiku

A five-man Presidential Election Petition Tribunal headed by Justice Mohammed Garba on Wednesday dismissed the petition filed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Mr. Atiku Abubakar challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 presidential poll.

In a unanimous ruling read by Justice Garba, the tribunal held that the petitioners failed to prove allegations of electoral malpractice, violence amongst others claimed in their petition

Premium Times reports that the tribunal ruled each of the five arguments by the PDP and Abubakar against them.

Mohammed said the petitioners failed to prove their petition beyond reasonable doubt and the petition “is hereby dismissed in its entirety.”

All five members of the panel agreed with the lead judgement.

As part of its ruling, the tribunal said Abubakar and the PDP provided no evidence that the 2019 general election was not in compliance with the Electoral Act.

Mohammed noted a number of allegations brought by the petitioners to back their claim of massive non-compliance to electoral guidelines across the nation.

He said some of the issues raised include “none holding of elections in some polling units, cancellation of results, over-voting, inflation and deflation of votes among other things.”

“The petitioners have a duty to prove all the allegations which are criminal in nature beyond reasonable doubt.

“The petitioners pleaded that so many of their agents were situated in various polling units and that members of the first respondents connived with security agents to conduct massive rigging.

“They also alleged that no real voting took place in Dekina local government area, among others,” the judge said.

The court however added that the PDP failed to call the polling unit agents who would have testified to the fact that they were arrested, harassed or affected by the violence pictured by the petitioners.

There is no admissible evidence on record to support the petitioner’s allegations, the court ruled.

“Like I had mentioned, there is no admissible evidences to link the witnesses with the allegations of non-compliance to the electoral act or of corruption,” the judge said

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