President Bola Tinubu has petitioned the Supreme Court to reject an appeal that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the PDP candidate, filed to overturn his election victory.
In a 42-page brief of argument on Thursday, Tinubu urged the Supreme Court to uphold what he called the “well-considered decision of the Court of Appeal,” which had on September 6 dismissed the joint petition Atiku and his party had filed against him while the Court of Appeal was serving as the Presidential Election Petition Court, or PEPC.
Tinubu’s team of 17 attorneys, which included 10 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, made the argument.
Insisting that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, correctly declared him the victor of the presidential election that took place on February 25, Tinubu told the supreme court that according to statistics, he received 25% of the total votes in the 29 states of the federation.
The former vice president and the PDP, he claimed in court, were only able to win 25% of the total votes cast in 21 states of the federation, “as against the constitutional requirement of 24.7 states, which is the mathematical results of two-thirds of the 36 states of the federation and the FCT (making 37)”.
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He told the apex court that Atiku and the PDP, being dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, on March 21, approached the PEPC “on trumped up allegations of non-compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, corrupt practices, non-scoring of majority of lawful votes cast at the election and non-qualification of the Respondent.”
President Tinubu further explained, “The hyperbolic character of the forgoing allegations was exposed by the petition itself, which had no facts in support thereof.
“Starting from the allegation of non-qualification of the Respondent, all that the Appellants submitted to the lower court through their petition was that the 2nd Respondent (Tinubu) was at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the election not having the constitutional threshold.
“While they also claimed to have won the highest number of votes cast at the election, as against INEC’s declaration, throughout their petition, they did not suggest an alternative score which they considered correct, whether for themselves or the Respondent.
“Though they had alleged that the election was riddled with non-compliance and corrupt practices, the paragraphs of their petition putting up these allegations were nothing short of vague, imprecise, generic and nebulous.
President Tinubu told the apex court that whereas Atiku raised issue of non-transmission of results, all the witnesses he brought before the PEPC, “agreed that the election went very smoothly, where INEC complied with all the prescribed procedures.”
He, therefore, urged the Supreme Court to dismiss Atiku’s appeal as “lacking in merit and to affirm the election and return of the Respondent by INEC as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having scored highest number of lawful votes cast and fulfilling all constitutional requirements.”