The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, have said that the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) assertion that he won in 21 states has not been debunked by the commission or other parties before the Presidential Election Petition Court so far.
The former vice president stated this in his final written address before the court as he asked the Election Petition Court to uphold the declaration of INEC that he won 21 states in the February 25 exercise.
The address was filed on July 20 in support of his joint petition with PDP seeking the nullification of INEC’S declaration of Bola Tinubu as the winner of the poll.
INEC had in its response to Atiku’s petition asserted that the PDP presidential candidate won 21 states in the last presidential election.
The states listed by INEC are Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Osun, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara.
He said that since INEC which on its own averments claimed that he won states and did not rebut the assertion throughout the proceedings, the Tribunal should proceed to uphold the declaration.
Amongst others, the final written address read “Very importantly, the 1st Respondent (INEC) who conducted the election made an open admission in paragraph 18 of its Reply to the Petition, where it unequivocally stated thus:
“The 1st Respondent further avers that in compliance with extant laws and regulations, it diligently discharged its duties when it collated the 1st Petitioner’s (Atiku) scores at the election which aggregates to 6,984,520 winning only 21 States to wit: Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Osun, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara.’
“Indeed, as admitted by the 1st Respondent (INEC), the 1st Petitioner (Atiku) won in these 21 states. It is important to note that throughout the trial, the ist Respondent (INEC) neither refuted nor countermanded this critical averment nor denied it.
“We urge your Lordship to hold that this constitutes an admission that requires no further proof. It also constitutes an admission against interest.
“The 1st Petitioner (Atiku) contested election to the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the platform of the 2nd Petitioner, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which held on 25th February 2023, along with 17 other candidates, including the 2nd Respondent, (Tinubu) who was the candidate of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), in whose favour the electoral body, the ‘Independent’ National Electoral Commission (INEC) manipulated the technologies earlier put in place to ensure transparency, and wrongfully returned the said 2nd Respondent (Tinubu) as the winner at about 4.00 am on Ist March 2023, at a time the 1st Respondent admitted that substantial percentage of the results had not been transmitted to the collation system for verification as required by law.”
Atiku Abubakar is therefore, praying that the court upholds the assertion of INEC in the process and declare him the winner of the February 25 exercise.
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