Presidential Poll Dispute: Atiku tenders 118 exhibits against Tinubu - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Presidential Poll Dispute: Atiku tenders 118 exhibits against Tinubu

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday, tendered a total of 118 exhibits before the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting in Abuja, to support the case he filed against President Bola Tinubu.

Atiku, in the joint petition he filed with his party, is contending that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, wrongly returned Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, as winner of the presidential election that held on February 25.

At the resumed proceedings on the matter on Tuesday, Atiku, who came second in the presidential election, through his team of lawyers, adduced his first set of exhibits before the court.

Though his legal team was led by Chief Chris Uche, SAN, however, the exhibits were identified and tendered from the Bar, by one of his lawyers, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN.

Specifically, the documents Mr. Jegede, SAN, tendered in evidence before the Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel, included certified copies of results of the presidential election from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Atiku's counsel told the court that the results were duly certified by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, even as he attached all the necessary payment receipts.

Other documents the petitioners also tendered before the court, included print out of data they obtained from the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, that were deployed for the presidential election. 

The extracts from the BVAS, covered polling units in all the 36 states and the FCT, Abuja.

Aside from the Form EC8E, Form EC8D(a), Form EC8D, Form EC-9 and Form EC-40G, which were sensitive materials they were used for the election, which he tendered in evidence, Atiku, said he would also produce 100 witnesses to testify before the court.

All the respondents in the matter- INEC, President Tinubu and the APC, told the court that they would reserve their objections to any of the documents, till their final written address.

Consequently, the Justice Tsammani-led panel admitted all the INEC's Forms in evidence and marked them as Exhibits PA, PB and PC (1 to 36), as well as Exhibits PD, PE and PW.

Whereas extracts from BVAS machines used in the 36 states and the FCT, were admitted and marked as Exhibits PG and PG 1- 36, the court, further admitted documents pertaining to the PVCs and marked them as Exhibits PH, PH1 - PH 36. 

On the exhibits relating to the PVCs, counsel for President Tinubu, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan, SAN, and that of the APC, Chief Niyi Akintola, SAN, said they were opposed to it, insisting they would not give their consent for them to be relied upon as part of the proof of evidence in the matter.

Meanwhile, the panel adjourned further proceedings in the matter till Wednesday.

Atiku and the PDP, are in the joint petition marked: CA/PEPC/05/2023, contending that the declaration of Tinubu as winner of the presidential election was "invalid by reason of non- compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022."

They further argued that Tinubu, who has sworn in as President, "was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast at the election". 

More so, the petitioners told the court that the President "was at the time of the election, not qualified to contest".

In a further process they filed before the court, Atiku and his party maintained that Tinubu had "demonstrated inconsistency as to his actual date of birth, secondary schools he attended (Government College Ibadan); his State of origin, gender, actual name; certificates evidencing Universities attended (Chicago State University)."

"The purported degree Certificate of the 2nd Respondent allegedly acquired at the Chicago State University did not belong to him but to a female (F) described as "F" in the Certificate bearing the name Bola Tinubu.

"The 2nd Respondent did not disclose to the 1st Respondent (INEC) his voluntary acquisition of the citizenship of Republic of Guinea with Guinean Passport No. D00001551, in addition to his Nigerian citizenship. The 2nd Respondent is hereby given notice to produce the original copies of his said two passports," Atiku added.

He argued that the APC candidate did not meet the constitutional threshold and "is constitutionally disabled from contesting for office of President of Federal Republic of Nigeria".

The PDP candidate wants the court to declare that he was the valid winner of the presidential election, even as he applied for the withdrawal of the Certificate of Return that was issued to the President by INEC.

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