Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has filed his 66 grounds of appeal against the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) at the Supreme Court.
The petitioners (Atiku and PDP) believe that the tribunal erred in its verdict.
The Justice Garba Mohammed led five man PEPT panel in a unanimous ruling had dismissed Atiku’s petition and upheld the election of President Muhammadu Buhari in its September 11 judgement.
Justice Garba noted that Atiku and the PDP failed to prove their allegations against Buhari and also did not provide relevant witnesses to convince them that Buhari is not qualified to contest for the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Part of the 66 grounds is that the judgement of the tribunal was not based on the issues canvassed by the petitioners, particularly relating to his academic qualifications.
“Take, for instance, one of the respondent’s witnesses, Rtd Maj.-Gen. Paul Tarfa, called by President Muhammadu Buhari’s lawyers said that they did not give their qualifications to the Military Board. Tarfa’s testimony is against the claim by Buhari that the Nigeria military is in possession of his certificates,” Chief Mike Ozekhome, one of Atiku’s lawyers, said.
“Secondly, Buhari said that he was recruited into the military in 1961 and Tarfa said in 1962, so what is the correct date of his recruitment into the army. Somebody is not telling the truth.
“The issue in question is who entered the different grades for him from both the Cambridge and the West African School Certificate results.
“This is the first time that the court will say that the documents are admitted in the interest of justice. So, who entered the different grades for him and if he did it, why?” Ozekhome asked (as seen on Punch).
Another point was that Abba Kyari, President Buhari’s Chief of Staff, brought the Cambridge documents dated July 18 and testified on July 20.
According to Atiku and the PDP, Buhari did not plead in its reply to the initial petition, adding that in law, you don’t speak on documents not pleaded.
Also contained in the grounds was that the WAEC documents contradicted the Cambridge documents.
“On the INEC server, the judgement of the PEPT said the INEC server was hacked and we then asked, which of the servers was hacked?
“The tribunal judgment was based on the Electoral Act section 52 (1) (B), but this aspect of the law has since been deleted in 2015. It is no longer in existence. This was the case in Wike Vs Peterside.
“If the judgment said INEC server was recklessly hacked, then, there is a server and, therefore, a criminal offence. Yet, INEC did not claim so or that its documents were stolen.
“How come the judge reached this scandalous decision?
Consequently, Atiku and PDP asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the tribunal ruling and consequently go ahead and declare Atiku Abubakar, the PDP candidate, the winner of the February 23 presidential election.
The PDP and Atiku had vehemently rejected the outcome of the February 23 poll, saying that according to results obtained from the server of INEC, he is the authentic winner of the election, not Buhari as declared by INEC.
Ogbodo ThankGod is currently the Managing Director/CEO/Group Chief Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He was the Chief Editor at NaijaBuzz.News before his new top leadership role. Ogbodo has years of experience in the Nigeria Media Industry and has co-founded some media companies. He is the founder of Ogbodo Solution Nigeria and 1Push.Ng. He loves playing football and is a strong supporter of Lionel Messi who he describes as the greatest footballer of all time.