The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has insisted in his reply before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Court sitting in Abuja that president-elect Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress ought not to have contested the 2023 election in the first place.
Atiku’s reply is to INEC who had in its preliminary objection urged the Tribunal to dismiss his petition for lacking in merit.
Atiku’s lawyers had in his petition stated that INEC under the guise of “technical glitches’ allegedly rigged the 2023 presidential election in favour of Bola Tinubu by refusing to immediately transmit results electronically from polling units to the INEC Results Viewing Portal, in line with relevant guidelines.
However, INEC’s lawyer, A.B. Mahmoud SAN had denied that the electoral umpire prescribed or established a system to electronically transfer or transmit the results from polling units to an electronic collation system.
He insisted that Abubakar “neither scored the majority of the lawful votes cast at the election nor scored not less than one-quarter of the lawful votes cast in at least two-thirds of the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory and therefore the 1st petitioner (Atiku) is not entitled to be returned as the winner of the presidential election conducted on February 25″.
But in his reply seen by our correspondent, Atiku’s lawyers brought in further particulars against INEC and Tinubu insisting that latter allegedly forfeited 460,000 US dollars owing to deals in narcotics and ought not to contest for elections in Nigeria.
“The said respondent having forfeited a sum of 460,000 US dollars as substituted by a competent authority, sequel to a compromise agreement and for narcotics related crime (proceeds of crime) in the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division, Judge A. Nordberg, the 2nd Respondent is constitutionally disabled from contesting for the office of President of Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Atiku’s reply wrote.
Atiku further argued that a proof that the 2023 presidential election election was allegedly rigged because as at the date of filing his reply, “not all polling units results had been uploaded unto the INEC Results Viewing Portal, IRev.”
He urged the court to discountenance the objections of INEC and grant reliefs to his prayers which among other things, seeks the nullification of INEC’s declaration of Tinubu as president-elect.