PEPC judgement : We’ve lost a battle, there’s war ahead - Atiku - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Thursday, September 7, 2023

PEPC judgement : We’ve lost a battle, there’s war ahead - Atiku

…vows to fight legal battle till the end 

The Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 Presidential Election, Atiku Abubakar, has vowed to pursue his legal challenge against the victory of President Bola Tinubu till the very end. 

He described his loss at the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, which is the court of first instance as a battle but that the war is still ahead.

Atiku said this at a press conference, at the PDP National Secretariat, Abuja, on Thursday. 

He said, “I urge all my supporters to remain steadfast. I urge them to take solace in an immortal lesson I learned from my leader and mentor, the late Shehu Yar’Adua, that losing a battle is less important than losing the war. 

“We might have lost a battle yesterday, but the war is well ahead of us. And I believe that with our hopes in God, we shall win the war of restoring confidence in our electoral system.”

The PDP Presidential flag bearer, explained that while he respects the court judgment, he respectfully rejects it because it fell short of justice. 

Atiku said, “As you already know, I approached the court following the declaration by INEC that the APC and its candidate are the winners of the February 25, Presidential Election.

“My decision to go to court is anchored in my belief that the court is the sanctuary of justice. The journey of my political career, as you know, holds so much to the courage and fearless decisions of our judiciary.

“Indeed, I am no stranger to legal battles, and I can say that I have a fair idea of how the court system works. 

“All through my career as a politician, I have been a fighter, and I must say that I have found the judiciary as a worthy pillar to rest on in the pursuit of justice.

“The last presidential election in our country and the way it was managed by the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, leaves behind unenviable precedents, which I believe the courts have a duty to redress. 

“Our gains in ensuring transparent elections through the deployment of technology was heavily compromised by INEC in the way it managed the last presidential election, and I am afraid that the judgement of the court as rendered by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal yesterday, failed to restore confidence in our dreams of free and fair elections devoid of human manipulations.

“Like I did say at the beginning of this legal battle when I instructed my lawyers to file my petition challenging the outcome of the presidential election, my ultimate goal in this pursuit is to ensure that democracy is further strengthened through the principles and processes of fair hearing.

“ I take great pains to tell you that the decision of the court of first instance on this matter utterly falls far short of that expectation. 

“I am therefore here to tell you that, though the judgment of the court yesterday is respected, it is a judgment that I refuse to accept. I refuse to accept the judgment because I believe that it is bereft of substantial justice. 

“However, the disappointment in the verdict of the court can never destroy my confidence in the judiciary.

“Consequently, I have asked my lawyers to activate my constitutionally guaranteed rights of appeal to the higher court, which, in the instance, is the Supreme Court. 

“It is my conviction that the electoral process in Nigeria should be devoid of untidy manipulations and that the outcome of every election should be a perfect reflection of the wishes of the electorate.

“ I believe that such is the only way through which our democracy can have a manifest expression of its true meaning. 

“Whether I prevail in this quest or not, the record of my effort in ensuring an order of credible elections in Nigeria shall remain for the future generations to evaluate.” 

Earlier, the Acting National Chairman of the PDP, Umar Damagun, in his remarks, said the party was prepared to play the role of a credible opposition while pursing justice at the higher court- the Supreme Court. 

He said, “ I call on our members not to lose focus, the NWC, is doing everything possible to give this government a credible opposition and we will continue to pursue our mandate and seek redress where we are expecting to give them opportunity to give us a policy direction. This will determine the future is this country.”

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