The Supreme Court has provided details regarding the dismissal of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s petition challenging the February 23, 2019, election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Atiku had among other things sort the disqualification of President Buhari on the ground that he did not meet the minimum requirement to contest for the election.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate further noted that he was the authentic winner of the election according to the results obtained from the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) through a whistleblower.
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal first dismissed Atiku’s petitions. The PDP and its candidate, not satisfied with the decision of the Appeal Court, approached the Supreme Court.
The apex court however in a unanimous ruling delivered by the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Tanko Muahmmad, on October 30, dismissed Atiku’s appeal. Explanation for the court’s decision was however not given on that day.
Consequently, today, November 15, 2019, the apex court delivered its full judgement on the case. It was read by Justice John Okoro earlier today.
The Supreme Court noted that Buhari is eminently qualified to contest the election and that he possessed the required educational qualification to contest.
The court noted that the Nigerian Constitution only required that a candidate be educated up to secondary school and could consequently contest even without possessing a certificate.
The court further noted that according to the constitution, a candidate who has primary school certificate and has worked in the public or private service for a period not less than 10 years with the ability to read, write and communication in English Language is qualified to contest the poll.
The apex court also noted that Buhari did not submit false information in aid of his application to INEC.
Regarding the result obtained from INEC server which was published on the website www.factsdontlie.ng, the Supreme Court said that Atiku failed to provide necessary prove to show that the result was authentic.
The Supreme Court also noted that Atiku only provided 5 polling unit agents among the thousands of polling units agents that worked for INEC in the election.
Atiku’s lawyers shun Supreme Court
Meanwhile, none of the lawyers Atiku engaged to challenge the election of Buhari were present at today’s Supreme Court hearing.
Atiku had 20 Senior Advocates of Nigeria and over 30 junior lawyers challenging the outcome of the February 23 election.
Ibrahim Kenneth Suleiman is the Chief Political Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He is a graduate of political science from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He specializes in preparing/approving of political news contents before publication. He currently heads Naija Buzz News team of political correspondents. From Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria, Ibrahim is a strong supporter of Manchester United Football Club England.