Tribunal Decision: Presidency, APC Hail Decision; PDP Heads to Supreme Court
By Dipo Omoware
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the Judiciary for “dispensing justice without fear or favour” following his victory at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday.
In a judgment read by Justice Mohammed Garba, the Tribunal dismissed the petition by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election, Atiku Abubakar.
In a statement signed by Femi Adeshina, the President’s Special Adviser, President Muhammadu Buhari said the ruling of the Tribunal was a victory for Nigerians who trooped out to overwhelmingly elect him for a second term in office.
According to President Buhari, he was not worried all along.
“Good conscience fears no evil report. I was unperturbed all along because I knew Nigerians freely gave us the mandate. We are now vindicated,” the President noted.
He further called on all aggrieved parties to put the past behind following the pronouncement of the Judiciary.
“It is time for the country to move forward as one cohesive body, putting behind us all bickering and potential distractions over an election in which Nigerians spoke clearly and resoundingly.”
The ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in its reactions hailed the judgment of the tribunal. According to a statement by the party, it praised the Judiciary for “for refusing to succumb to the opposition party’s subterfuge.”
“We note the painstaking efforts and thoroughness of the Justices of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in arriving at their decision. Today's judgment, no doubt, would go down in the annals of our nation as the longest and detailed, spanning almost 10 hours,” the ruling party noted.
The APC maintained that the judgment of the Tribunal “validates the decision of most Nigerians to do away with the past as expressed in their overwhelming votes in the elections.”
According to the APC, the victory at the Tribunal “represents our collective desire as a people to remain focus on the progressive growth and development of our country’s economy, fight against corruption, and providing security.”
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), however, says it will head to the Supreme Court as it is “upbeat in obtaining justice” at the apex court.
The opposition party rejected the judgment describing it as “provocative, barefaced subversion of justice” as well as a “direct assault on the integrity” of the country’s justice system
The opposition party insists it is “shocked” that the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal “failed to point to justice despite the flawless evidence laid before it showing President Buhari was not only unqualified to contest the election but also did not score the majority of valid votes at the polls.”
According to the PDP, it wondered how the Tribunal “could validate a clear case of perjury and declaration of false information in a sworn affidavit, as firmly established against President Muhammadu Buhari, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence.”
The PDP also insists that it is “strange” that the Tribunal provided “rationalisations in favour of President Buhari, even when all hard facts before it shows that he did not possess the claimed educational certificate and that the Army was not in possession of his WAEC certificate as claimed in the affidavit he deposed to in his Presidential nomination form.”
Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike In a statement on Wednesday congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on the validation of his election by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
Governor Wike urged President Muhammadu Buhari to use his victory to work for all Nigerians, irrespective of their political leanings.