The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar has rejected the verdict of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) that affirmed Bola Tinubu’s victory at the February 2023 poll.
While the court on Wednesday threw out Atiku’s petitions, that of his Labour Party (LP) counterpart Peter Obi and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), the flagbearer of the main opposition party says he is undeterred and has instructed his lawyers to appeal the verdict.
“Gentlemen of the press, I take great pains to tell you that the decision of the court of first instance on this matter utterly falls far short of that expectation. I am therefore here to tell you that, though the judgment of the court yesterday is respected, it is a judgment that I refuse to accept. I refuse to accept the judgment because I believe that it is bereft of substantial justice. However, the disappointment in the verdict of the court can never destroy my confidence in the judiciary,” he said in a press briefing on Thursday.
“Consequently, I have asked my lawyers to activate my constitutionally guaranteed rights of appeal to the higher court, which, in the instance, is the Supreme Court. It is my conviction that the electoral process in Nigeria should be devoid of untidy manipulations and that the outcome of every election should be a perfect reflection of the wishes of the electorate.
“I believe that such is the only way through which our democracy can have a manifest expression of its true meaning. Whether I prevail in this quest or not, the record of my effort in ensuring an order of credible elections in Nigeria shall remain for future generations to evaluate,” he added.
His party had earlier rejected the Tribunal’s verdict, saying it would consult its lawyers for the next course of action.
Atiku came second in the election and insists he won the exercise despite the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s declaration of Tinubu as the victor.