John Owen Nwachukwu
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and winner of the February 2019 election, Muhammadu Buhari, has faulted claim by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar that they won the election.
President Buhari told the Presidential Election Tribunal that, by the result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, he (Buhari) and his party, were victorious in the last election.
The APC candidate also told the Tribunal that the claim by Atiku and the PDP that the tradermoni policy of the government was a vote-buying measure was not true.
According to Buhari, the policy formed one of the many social intervention policies his government had put in place, directed at alleviating the suffering of the masses.
Buhari asked the Tribunal to ignore the claim by the petitioners that they won by results they obtained from a purported INEC server because it lacked legal basis.
Buhari further challenged Atiku and PDP to show evidence that their votes were depleted and manipulated.
This was contained in a preliminary objection filed by his group of lawyers in response to Atiku’s petition.
President Buhari also faulted the petitioners’ allegations of vote manipulation made against some security personnel, some named private individuals and organisations, without making them parties to the petition.
Buhari asked the Tribunal to throw aside Atiku, PDP’s petition on the grounds that the reliefs sought by the petitioners were frivolous.
He added that “The entire reliefs are not justifiable, as the petitioners, who claim to have scored majority of lawful votes insubstantial number of states, are also questioning their own return in those states.
“The petitioners cannot act as petitioners and respondents in the same petition.
“The alternative relief sought is self-defeating, apart from being frivolous.
“The election to the office of President on 23rd F February, 2019, was conducted in substantial compliance with the provision of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended),” he said.
Buhari, challenged the petitioners to produce “specifics of website: www.factsdontlien .com, including its domain owner, proprietor, lessee, lessor; etc., pleaded in paragraph 29 of the petition.
“Details of the electronic data on the servers of the 1st respondent (INEC), including the time, the details were downloaded, the person who downloaded them and the means of downloading (paragraph 29 of the petition).
“The documents from the 1st respondent, publishing the registered voters in Nigeria, as 84, 004, 084 and the number of PVCs collected as 72,775,502 (paragraph 30 of the petition).
“Details and documents, showing a breakdown of the electronically collated votes of 664, 659, allegedly cast for the petitioners in Abia State (paragraph 34 of the petition).
“Documents showing the published registered voters in Bauchi State, as pleaded in paragraph 41 of the petition.
“Details of the electronically collated 332,618 votes in Bayelsa State (paragraph 42).
“Documents showing how petitioners’ votes were depleted by 173,153, in Benue State (paragraph 44).
“Details of how petitioners’ votes were depleted by 210,109 in Bomo State (paragraph 46 of the petition).”
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