Tribunal Strikes Out Atiku’s Dual Citizenship Petition Against Tinubu

The court also expunged 37 exhibits tendered by the witnesses from the court’s records.


atiku-press-conference
FILE: Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar. Photo: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

 

The Presidential Election Petitions Court on Wednesday struck out the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, alleging that President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) owns dual citizenship. 

Justice Stephen Adah, who took over from Justice Haruna Tsammani, after a review of the evidence and documents tendered, struck out the evidence of some of Atiku’s witnesses on the grounds that that their witness statements on oath were not filed along with his petition.

The court also expunged 37 exhibits tendered by the witnesses from the court’s records.

On the issue of dumping of documents on the court, he held that this would only go to the weight to be attached to such evidence.

On the issue of Tinubu’s conviction and the issue of his dual citizenship, the Tribunal again held like it earlier did that this issues were incompetent and liable to be struck out and same were indeed struck out.

After this, Justice Adah handed over to Justice Tsammani, the leader of the five-man panel, who then proceeded to the deal with the main petition.

The court spelt out four grounds for determination.

On the inability of the election officers to transmit, of the 27 witnesses called by the petitioner, 10 were polling unit agents who testified as to how the elections were conducted in their different polling unit.

All 10 of the witnesses testified that the voting went well and was peaceful in their different polling units but they all said they could not upload results electronically to the portal of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), so they entered the results manually and took same to the ward and or state collation center.

The witnesses were emphatic that voting went well, party agents signed the results but the only difficulty was in uploading the results electronically.

The Tribunal strongly stressed that litigation is fought on pleadings, parties swim or sink on their pleadings.

On the allegations that agents of the respondents disrupted the elections, the petitioners said video recordings will be tendered as proof but this was not done.

From the foregoing, the petitioners failed to prove the issue of election malpractice and the issue was resolved in favour of the respondents and against the petitioners.

Issue two is on the 25 percent in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the court simply adopted its earlier decision on the issue.

Issue three is on the qualification of the Tinubu because of the alleged indictment but the petitioners did not place believable evidence before the court.