Declare me president, Atiku tells tribunal in final address

Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has made a bold move by asking the Presidential Election Petition Court to declare him the rightful winner of the February 25 presidential election. Atiku claims that he won in 21 states, and that the winner announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Bola Tinubu, was not qualified to contest the election due to various allegations against him.

In his final address filed at the PEPC on July 20, Atiku argued that he had proven the invalidity of Tinubu’s return as President due to substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act, specifically on the electronic transmission of results. He claimed that INEC admitted he won in 21 states, which was never refuted throughout the proceedings, and therefore the tribunal should uphold that declaration.

The states listed by INEC as won by Atiku and the PDP include Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Osun, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara.

Atiku’s legal team also pointed out that INEC later altered the admitted result of 21 states for Atiku to 12 states due to the non-use of electronic transmission for collation. The petitioners argued that this alteration was unlawful and unconstitutional, as it did not comply with the constitutional requirement of securing one-quarter of the valid votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The presidential candidate also asserted that the evidence presented by the respondents in their defense was scanty, and they virtually abandoned their pleadings by not calling necessary witnesses and lacking a credible defense to the petition.

Atiku emphasized that the fact that no presidential election has been nullified by the courts in Nigeria before now should not deter the court from doing so if the situation demands it. He urged the judiciary to make a just and fair decision, emphasizing the historical significance of the case for the nation.

As the case progresses, the Nigerian judiciary faces a crucial moment that will shape the country’s democratic process and set a precedent for future elections. The court’s decision will be eagerly awaited by all parties involved and the entire nation.

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