Atiku vs Buhari: Court Judgment on the Presidential Election Petition
Yesterday, a ruling was delivered on the outcome of the February 23, 2019 election involving the two presidential candidates of the APC President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared PMB the winner of the 2019 Presidential Election.
According INEC, Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes while Atiku polled 11,262,978 - a margin of 3,928,869 votes.
In March 2019, Atiku filed petition to challenge Buhari’s win. They claimed that PDP won the election citing the presidential election result allegedly gotten from INEC’s server. Atiku claimed he scored 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari, who he claimed score 16,741,430 votes. Having heard the arguments of the PDP, APC, and INEC, the presidential tribunal fixed Wednesday 11th September to deliver a ruling on who the winner of the 2019 presidential election was.
Morning Crossfire also features Abuja report of the FEC meeting at which Value Added Tax moved from 5 to 7.2 percent. Of course, the decision spurred a lot of comments on social media.
After the brief report, attention is turned back to the presidential tribunal ruling. Abayomi, a Nigeria Info FM correspondent who was at the tribunal yesterday said what touched him was that APC had a prepared speech with them which means they already anticipated or knew the outcome of the judgment.
Barr Olugbani responds on the issue of the typed and prepared speech by APC members. He says “from the standpoint of the law it would appear to be inappropriate. But from the standpoint of public relation and public opinion, it would appear okay. But as the correspondent said, it could have gone either ways. So, the speech could have been prepared to celebrate or rejoice at a favorable judgment. Another thing would have refused that justice has been done, and we are going on appeal. Depending on which way it went, it could have been either way. But the idea of pulling out a prepared speech? Well…”
Olugbani also speaks on the tribunal judgment, saying “I haven’t seen a copy of the judgment but I’ve heard different perspectives over the last twelve hours. That I have had to read from other people’s opinion where the emphasis was on the technicality of the provisions of the law and those technicalities eventually led to the conclusions that the judges made.
“The essence is to do substantial justice. Technicality should not in any way prevent the doing of actual substantial justice. If from all of the facts and within the law it appears that someone who has a cliam before a court has satisfied largely all that is needed, it be high level of injustice for ruling on the level of technicalities. For instance, that he didn’t sign something properly, or come early, but these things are very important.
“For a tribunal to call for election re-run, the petitioner must have satisfied the panel beyond any technicalities.”
On his part, Ademola Sadiq Esq gives kudos to the judges whom he says followed the rule of law. “Most of their findings and conclusions will enhance our jurisdictional matters on election matters. We lawyers always say that election matters are in a class of their own. It’s a whole Herculean task on the petitioners. It’s almost impossible to upturn an election in Nigeria.
“As we have experienced in the House of Reps, or Senate, to upturn those elections you have to prove. In most cases, you even have to bring in the polling agents. It is an Herculean task to prove this matter.”
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Barr Bolanle Olugbani - Constitutional Lawyer/ Public Affairs Analyst
Ademola Sadiq Esq – State Legal Adviser (APC Lagos)
Segun Sowunmi – Spokesman of the PDP Presidential Campaign in 2016
Morning Crossfire with Wemimo Adewuni (@wemimospot) & Sheriff Quadry (@SheriffQuadry)
Written by Jude Chukwuemeka