Anti Hate Speech Bill An Abuse Of Legislative Process – Atiku

 

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has said that the bill being conceived by the National Assembly to tackle hate speeches and other social media related contents is an abuse of legislative process.

In a statement on Tuesday, the former Vice President said the bill is one which will violate Nigerians’ constitutionally guaranteed right to Freedom of Speech.

He stated that the bill sponsored by Senator Sabi Abdullahi is obnoxious, adding that the lawmakers should rather make laws to tackle pressing domestic challenges across the country.

READ ALSO: Senate Introduces Bill To Prohibit Hate Speech

Atiku’s statement reads:

“Atiku Abubakar wishes to sound a note of caution to those now toying with the idea of an Anti Hate Speech Bill, with punishment for supposed Hate Speech to be death by hanging. The contemplation of such laws is in itself not just hate speech, but an abuse of the legislative process that will violate Nigerians’ constitutionally guaranteed right to Freedom of Speech.

Atiku urges those behind this Bill to awake to the fact that Nigeria’s democracy has survived its longest incarnation, because those who governed this great nation between 1999 and 2015 never toyed with this most fundamental of freedoms. It is prudent to build upon the tolerance inherited from those years and not shrink the democratic space to satisfy personal and group interests.

Freedom of Speech was not just bestowed to Nigerians by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), it is also a divine right given to all men by their Creator. History is littered with the very negative unintended consequences that result when this God given right is obstructed by those who seek to intimidate the people rather than accommodate them.

We should be reminded that history does not repeat itself. Rather, men repeat history. And often, to disastrous consequences.

Nigeria presently has too many pressing concerns. We are now the world headquarters for extreme poverty as well as the global epicentre of out-of-school children. Our economy is smaller than it was in 2015, while our population is one of the world’s fastest growing. We have retrogressed in the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International, from the position we held four years ago, and our Human Development Indexes are abysmally low.

It therefore begs the question: should we not rather make laws to tackle these pressing domestic challenges, instead of this Bill, which many citizens consider obnoxious?

Again, Atiku cautions that we must prioritise our challenges ahead of the whims and caprices of those who do not like to hear the inconvenient truth. Stop this folly and focus on issues that matter to Nigerians.”

Nigerian Army Cannot Operate Apartheid Passed Laws – The Week In Quotes

 

Here is what was said and who said what in the public sphere within the course of the passing week. 

1. “Nigerian Army cannot operate apartheid passed laws in Nigeria”

Mr Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), kicks against the proposed Operation Positive Identification (OPI).

2. “It does appear to me that government doesn’t seem to know what to do when it comes to doing what is supposed to be done”

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Jibrin Okutepa, faults the planned introduction of Operation Positive Identification across the country.

3. “Nigerians voted PDP, APC knows they were rejected”

The National Chairman of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus reacts to the Supreme Court’s verdict, he salutes Nigerians of all divide for their commitment and support to the party and to democracy.

4. “I fought a good fight for the Nigerian people”

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar says he will not relent for Nigeria and democracy regardless his defeat at the Supreme Court, in his case against President Muhammadu Buhari.

5. ” Supreme Court verdict is victory for democracy”

The Speaker of the House of the Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila describes the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the Supreme Court as a victory for democracy.

6. “I think Nigerians have voted, the Supreme Court has upheld the outcome, it’s time to support and close ranks and queue behind President Muhammdu Buhari.”

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) calls on Nigerians to close ranks and support President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration following the Supreme Court’s affirmation of his election victory.

7. “It is time the country is afforded the right to move on”

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the ruling of the Supreme Court, dismissing the appeal brought before them by Atiku Abubakar and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has afforded the country the ‘right to move on’.

8. “Nigeria has a lot to learn from Egypt in the fight against terrorism”

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, calls for more engagement between Nigeria’s National Assembly and the Egyptian parliament, with a view to sharing ideas that will address the challenges common to the two countries.

9. “Join us in calling the world to take action against Boko Haram”

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN says concerted action by countries around the world is crucial towards tackling terrorism in the Sahel region, as well as the challenges posed by Boko Haram and ISWAP in Africa.

10. “I am very proud of you”

President Muhammadu Buhari congratulates the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria for a fantastic beginning in the group opening match of FIFA World Cup Brazil 2019.

2019 Presidential Election: APC Hails Dismissal Of PDP’s Appeal By Supreme Court

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has hailed the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar against President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 presidential election victory.

The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, described the judgement as ‘apt’, adding that the judiciary stood firm in stating that the appeal lacked merit.

A 7-man panel led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, on Wednesday, dismissed Atiku’s appeal for lacking in merit, after going through all the documents and exhibits filed in the case about a fortnight.

“Following the earlier judgement of the 2019 Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which dismissed in its entirety the PDP and Atiku’s petition, the Apex Court was apt in dismissing the appeal for lacking merit.

“The Party hails the Judiciary for standing firm in the face of the PDP and Atiku’s subterfuge and for siding with the Nigerian electorate who through their votes decided to do away with PDP’s ignominious past and re-elect the President Buhari-led APC administration which has ushered in a new era of progressive growth for our country.”

READ ALSO: Presidential Election: Supreme Court Dismisses Atiku’s Appeal

The APC enjoined the PDP to take the defeat in good faith and halt any planned agenda against Nigeria.

“With the ruling of the Supreme Court, which has finally affirmed President Buhari’s election victory, we enjoin the PDP and Atiku to jettison their destructive and disruptive agenda against Nigeria, which they have made up their minds to pursue for the next four years.

“The PDP and Atiku should not confuse opposition politics for their unpatriotic agenda. Democratic politics cannot be practiced in the state of anarchy, confusion which the PDP and Atiku wish to achieve. Such a diabolic plan will definitely fail.”

2019 Presidential Election: Supreme Court Dismisses Atiku’s Appeal

 

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election of February 23, 2019.

A 7-man panel led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, dismissed Atiku’s appeal for lacking in merit.

Speaking on behalf of the panel, Justice Muhammad stated that members of the panel had read all the documents and exhibits filed in the case for about a fortnight, within which the panel discovered that the appeal was lacking in merit.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Seven-Man Panel Headed By CJN Hears Atiku’s Appeal Against Buhari

The CJN noted that the reason for the apex court’s decision would be made known on a later date which would be communicated to all concerned.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday commenced hearing on the appeal filed by the PDP and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

The 7-man panel was headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice IbrahimTanko Mohammed.

Other members of the panel are Bode Rhodes-Vivour, Olukayode Ariwoola, John Okoro, Aminu Sanusi, Ejembi Eko and Uwani Abba-ji.

At the opening of proceedings, the apex court stood down Atiku’s appeal for 15 minutes to enable parties agree on whether or not to consolidate all the appeals.

The Court, however, resumed sitting after all the counsels agreed to a consolidation of all the appeals.

According to the panel, all the appeals were consolidated because the main appeal was binding on all others.

Supreme Court Delivers First Ruling On Atiku’s Appeal Against Buhari

PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun

 

The Supreme Court has made a ruling on the appeal of the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar against President Muhammadu Buhari. 

The seven-man panel in a short ruling, consolidated all the appeals on the matter, stating that the main appeal shall be binding on all others.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Commences Hearing On Atiku’s Appeal

Justice Tanko Muhammad, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, who leads the seven-man panel of the apex court, overruled Atiku and his party’s request that their seven interlocutory appeals should be heard after the main one must have been argued.

He stated that it would be unnecessary to hear the interlocutory appeals when a judgment on the main appeal marked would suffice.

Supreme Court Commences Hearing On Atiku’s Appeal

 

The Supreme Court has commenced hearing on the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar challenging the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The 7-man panel is headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice IbrahimTanko Mohammed.

READ ALSO: Atiku Vs Buhari: Supreme Court Fixes Date To Hear Appeal

Other members of the panel are Bode Rhodes-Vivour, Olukayode Ariwoola, John Okoro, Aminu Sanusi, Ejembi Eko and Uwani Abba-ji.

At the opening of proceedings, the apex court stood down Atiku’s appeal for 15 mins to enable parties agree on whether or not to consolidate all the appeals.

The Court however, resumed sitting after all the counsels agreed to a consolidation of all the appeals.

Atiku Vs Buhari: Supreme Court Fixes Date To Hear Appeal

 

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has fixed Wednesday, October 30, 2019, to hear the Appeal of the PDP and Atiku/Obi, arising from the judgment of the Appeal Court.

Channels Television earlier reported that Atiku and PDP had formally filed an appeal against the judgement of the presidential election petitions tribunal, at the Supreme Court.

The opposition party is challenging the judgment of the presidential election tribunal, which affirmed the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In the appeal filed by Atiku and PDP, the opposition alleged that the panel of the presidential election tribunal erred in law “when they relied on “overall interest of justice” to hold that the second Respondent’s (President Muhammadu Buhari) exhibits R1 to R26, P85, and P86 were properly admitted in evidence.”

They also alleged among other reasons that the tribunal erred in law “when they held thus: “My firm view is that Section 76 of the Electoral Act is clearly inapplicable to the issues under consideration.

“The form referred to are the form to be used in the conduct of the election as FORM CF001 had been taken care of in Section 31 of the Electoral Act and the said FORM CF001 is tied to the steps laid down in the said Section 31 of the Electoral Act.

“More importantly, the law is firmly settled that a candidate is not required by the Constitution or the Electoral Act to attach his certificates to FORM CF001 before the candidate can be considered or adjudged to have the requisite educational qualifications to contest the election.”

They also alleged that the tribunal erred in law when they held thus: “There was/is no pleadings in the Petition to the effect that 2nd Respondents failure to attach his certificates to Form CF001 amounts to lack of educational qualification to contest the election.

“In other words, the issue of failure to attach certificates which have been flogged throughout the length and breadth of the Petitioners Address (es) in Reply to 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents final written address is not the case of the Petitioner in the pleadings. No issue was joined on nonproduction of certificates or failure to attach them as an infraction of section 131, 137 and 138 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.

“All submission about the failure to produce certificates or attach same to CF001 is hereby discountenanced. Even if it can be said that the submissions made are in tandem with the Petitioners Pleadings on issues 1 and 2 the fact remains that none of the facts pleaded were proved or established as required by law.”

According to them, they pleaded and proved the allegation that President Buhari gave false information of a fundamental nature to INEC in aid of his qualification.

They further stated that they also pleaded that the Nigerian Military denied that it held or was in possession of the President’s certificates. And that the failure of the president to produce his Certificates or attach same to Form CF001 in the face of unequivocal denial by the Army that his Certificates were not with them went to the root of the allegation against him that he gave false information of a fundamental nature to INEC in aid of his qualification.

Atiku and his party therefore asked the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal and grant the prayers sought by them.

Time line Of Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal

The proceedings of the Presidential Petition tribunal commenced on 18th of March 2019 when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar filed the petition challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23, election.

On May 8th, the tribunal commenced inaugural sitting and it was chaired by the President of the Appeal Court, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa.

The tribunal was however delayed for another three weeks following the withdrawal of Justice Bulkachuwa as chairman of the tribunal.

On June 10, 2019, the pre-trial started and ended on July 3rd under the chairmanship of Justice Mohamed Garba who took over from justice Bulkachuwa.

The main petition was heard between July 4th and August 1.

Parties in the tribunal adopted their final written addresses on August 21.

A five-man panel of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal headed by Justice Mohammed Garba reserved judgment to a date to be communicated to all the parties involved in the petition.

Dr Levi Uzoukwu, who led the petitioners’ legal team insisted in his final written address that President Buhari’s claim that he submitted his certificates to the Military Board has been controverted by the Secretary to the Military Board.

Lawyers to INEC, President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, however, urged the Tribunal to dismiss the petition with substantial cost for lacking in merit and substance. They argued that the nation’s law only requires a candidate to be educated up to secondary school level or its equivalent.

PDP, Atiku Mourn Victims Of Onitsha Market Fire

 

The Peoples Democratic Party and its Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, have mourned with the victims of the Onitsha market fire.

The party in a series of tweets on its Twitter handle said, @OfficialPDPNig
is shocked by the devastating petrol tanker fire outbreak in Onitsha, Anambra state, describing the incident as heartbreaking and traumatizing.

@OfficialPDPNig is deeply saddened by the tragic occurrence particularly, the painful death of our compatriots, including the mother and child, who lost their lives in the inferno that also razed houses, shops and other valuables.

“Indeed, our party mourns. Our hearts ache as our prayers go out to the victims and the families of the deceased, who are now in anguish over their excruciating losses.

“Our party commiserates with the government and people of Anambra state and prays for the repose of the souls of the deceased”.

READ ALSO: Anambra Explosion: Obiano Sympathises With Victims’ Families, Inaugurates Investigative Panel

The Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, said, “We’ve had many preventable fuel tanker tragedies. I received with sadness, reports of a tanker explosion in Onitsha, Anambra State, which caused massive destruction to lives and properties in Ochanja Market area. My prayers and thoughts are with the families of the affected”.

The party also urged public-spirited individuals and organization to support the government in finding succour for the victims over their losses.

It, however, called for an investigation into the remote and immediate causes of the accident as well as the circumstances that may have frustrated timely intervention in the tragedy.

The PDP called for measures are put in place to forestall a reoccurrence, as the safety and wellbeing of all Nigerians remain paramount to ‘our party’.

We’ll Ensure Nigeria Makes Course Correction Away From Tyranny, Atiku Reacts To Tribunal Judgment

Atiku Abubakar

 

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 2019 general election, Atiku Abubakar has finally reacted to the tribunal verdict in his suit against President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Atiku in a statement signed on Friday explained his reasons for ‘pursuing judicial route,’ and why he is seeking legal redress challenging Buhari’s victory in the February 23 presidential election.

According to him, he wants to ensure that the votes of Nigerians count and also ensure that Nigeria makes a course correction away from tyranny and towards democracy.

The former Vice-President also appreciated his supporters and urged them not to underestimate the effect of their belief that justice will be done.

 

Read the full statement below…

 Message of Gratitude to Nigerians For Your Support on This Necessary Journey 

Dearly beloved citizens of Nigerians,

I write to personally thank you for your support for our shared common goal and the solidarity I enjoyed from all walks of life and every strata of society, right from July 21, 2018, when I informed you, the good people of Nigeria, that I would contest the 2019 Presidential election, to Wednesday September 11, 2019, when the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal rendered its verdict.

Nothing good comes easy, and hard as the task to rid Nigeria from the forces of fascism, and be an instrument for the full restoration of the rule of law and democracy in Nigeria is, your support makes the struggle worthwhile.

I owe so much to this great land of Nigeria that took me from the streets of Jada, where I sold firewood, to the heights I have attained, by God’s benevolence, in the civil service, in corporate Nigeria, and in public service.

If I do not play my part in making it possible for other orphaned children, indigent youths and the less privileged, to replicate and even surpass my path to significance, I would have failed my Maker. If I do not ensure that the ladder I climbed remains accessible to those at the bottom, middle and top tiers of society, I would not have fulfilled my purpose.

And only by ensuring that democracy is not just done, but seen to be done, can Nigeria and Nigerians have a sense that this our dear land is indeed a land where Unity, Faith, Peace and Progress reside.

It is for this, and other patriotic reasons, that I am pursuing this judicial route: To ensure that the votes of Nigerians count and are counted.

Yes, those who do not want this as Nigeria’s reality, will use every trick in the book to undermine, discourage, misinform and mislead, but with God’s help and the support of Nigerians, we will ensure that Nigeria makes a course correction away from tyranny and towards democracy.

We must return to being Africa’s bastion of democracy, where the rights to Freedom of Speech and Freedom after the Speech, are guaranteed. We must stand together to pursue this just cause all the way, so that our judiciary are not afraid to do their jobs and have to be wary of blackmail, intimidation, and victimisation.

I note the immense outpouring of goodwill from ordinary Nigerians in every nook and cranny of Nigeria and from all regions, religions and relationships. Once again I thank you all for your support. I also thank the governors elected on the platform of my party, the Peoples Democratic Party, as well as the National Executive Committee, for their unanimous and unambiguous support for the judicial phase of this struggle, especially after it was announced that we would go on to appeal.

I urge all Nigerians to continue their support for this recourse to constitutional order via the courts. Even if there is little or nothing you can do to ensure that justice is done in Nigeria, just believe that it will happen. Let us never underestimate the effect of our belief in Nigeria.

Finally, I say to all concerned, that we will all die and give account of our lives to our Creator.

Thank you and may God bless Nigeria.

Waziri Atiku Abubakar, Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007.

Updated: Tribunal Dismisses PDP, Atiku’s Petition Challenging Buhari’s Victory

 

The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the 2019 Presidential election challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 Presidential election.

The five-man panel of the tribunal, led by Justice Mohammed Garba gave the unanimous judgement on Wednesday.

The tribunal dismissed the petition in its entirety and the parties are to bear their respective cost.

“This petition is accordingly and hereby dismissed in its entirety.”

Other members of the tribunal including Justice Peter Olabisi-Ige, Justice Abdul Aboki, Justice Joseph Ikyegh and Justice Samuel Oseji, agreed with the lead judgement.

Justice Garba affirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari is the winner of the 2019 presidential election.

READ ALSO: Buhari ‘Eminently Qualified’ To Contest Presidential Election, Tribunal Rules

The PDP and Atiku had filed a joint petition on March 18, 2019, specifically asking the tribunal to disqualify Buhari, winner of the February 23 presidential election, on the grounds that he (Buhari) did not possess the requisite academic qualification to contest for the office of President, and the election was marred with irregularities.

Other petitions filed by the petitioners include; deployment of electronic voting, over-voting, substantial non-compliance with the electoral law as well as the use of security agencies to rig the election in favour of Buhari.

The tribunal also dismissed Atiku’s claim that he won the election based on results allegedly transmitted into the INEC sever.

According to the Tribunal, the Kenyan Information and Communication Technology (ICT) expert, David Njorga invited as the 59th witnesses to establish the claim that INEC transmitted results to a server during the last presidential election was based on ‘hearsay’ from a third party.

“The author of the content revealing the information from the said server claimed to be an INEC staff. This to me is unreliable for any information that should be relied on by an expert.

“Whatever he got came from the server belonging to the whistleblower and not INEC. Under cross-examination, he admitted that the information on the website www.factdontlie.com could have been doctored.

“His evidence is hanging on third party information from an unknown source. The law is clear on hearsay evidence,” Justice Garba stated.

The chairman of the tribunal added that the petitioner failed to prove substantial non-compliance of the electoral act in the 11 states complained to have been marred by electoral malpractices.

“They alleged arbitrary allocation of figures, result sheets not showing results of all political parties that participated in the election, intimidation etc.

“In other to prove these, witnesses ought to be called from each of those units who were eyewitnesses to the allegations to testify, but the petitioners did not call witnesses who are tied to the documents tendered. Even at that, the evidence of some polling units called by the petitioners cannot take the place of voters who were said to have been disenfranchised.

“Because there was no eyewitness account and no evidence by the petitioners the court cannot decide in favour of the petitioners as far as allegations of malpractices and irregularities are concerned.”

On other issues, the Chairman resolved that; “The petitioners failed to prove that the security agencies connived with the electoral umpire to assist the APC in manipulating the election results in the 11 states including Kebbi, Nassarawa, Borno etc.

“They also failed to prove that fake policemen were deployed by the APC to Influence the election. They also failed to prove allegations that the president retained the services of the service chiefs to use them to manipulate the election.

“It is their further allegation that in all the states of the federation military and police officers firmed themselves as supporters of the second respondent to attack, harass and stop the supporters of the petitioners from exercising their franchise.”

The tribunal also ruled that most of the witnesses called by the petitioner gave hearsay evidence which is not applicable in proving all the specific allegations and all the criminal allegations contained in the petition.

“There is no admissible evidence on record to back the claims of the petitioners.”

Justice Mohammed Garba started the pre-trial on June 10, 2019, after President of the Appeal Court, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa withdrew from the matter, following calls of partisanship.

The tribunal used a total of 177 out of the 180 days stipulated by section 285 of the 4th alteration of the 1999 constitution.

The judgment which started around  9:30 a.m. on Wednesday ended at 5:58 p.m.

LIVE UPDATE: Tribunal Rules On Atiku’s Petition Challenging Buhari’s Victory

Welcome to our live updates on the presidential election petition tribunal.


The presidential election petition tribunal will today deliver judgement in the petition brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

All the parties in the suit had made their final submissions on August 21, when the tribunal declared that the date for the judgement will be communicated at a later date.

The PDP and its candidate are seeking to nullify the election of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 poll.


8:00 am

There is a very heavy presence of security officials at the court premises while the tribunal is set to commence with many lawyers present.


8:23 am

The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari who was also a witness for the president at the tribunal arrives the courtroom.



8:45 am

The Minister of State for Niger Delta, Festus Keyamo arrives courtroom. Keyamo, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria exchanges pleasantries with lawyers upon his arrival at the court premises.



8:46 am

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong arrives the courtroom.



9:09 am

Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus arrives the courtroom. He also went around and exchanged pleasantries with lawyers defending the PDP in the petition.


09:10 am

He also embraced the Chairman of the opposing party, All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomole.


Also in court is the governor of Kebbi State Senator Bagudu, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige and the Minister of Works and Housing, Raji Fashola.



9:29 am

The panel of the tribunal arrived for the final time in this petition.

The five-man panel include the Chairman, Justice Mohammed Garba. Others include Justice Peter Olabisi-Ige, Justice Abdul Aboki, Justice Joseph Ikyegh and Justice Samuel Oseji.

The panel is led by Justice Mohammed Garba.


9:36 am

The parties take appearances after which the chairman of the tribunal will deliver the ruling.


09:49 am

The tribunal at the pre-trial hearing reserved rulings in some preliminary objections to today’s judgment.

The Chairman then announced that those rulings will be delivered before the final judgment in the petition.


10:01 am

The first Preliminary Objections being heard is the one filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) asking the tribunal to dismiss the petition of the PDP and Atiku for not joining the vice-president who participated in the election as a necessary party.


The First Preliminary Objection

The first Preliminary Objections (PO) was filed by INEC asking the court to dismiss the petition for failure to join the vice president who is a party to the election on four grounds as he is an indispensable party in the petition.

The PO said failure to join the vice-president robbed the court the powers to hear the petition as such it should be dismissed.

It adds that noncompliance with the electoral act is not a mere rule but goes to the foundation of the case. In the present petition, the electoral act was complied with.

The vice president, it noted, is not a necessary party in line with section 178 and is bound by the decision given to the necessary Party which in this case are the 2nd respondent (the president ) and the third respondent (the Apc).


10:07am

Justice Garba held that not joining the vice president is not fatal to the Petition.

He said the objection is not correct in law,  it lacks merit and is hereby dismissed.

The dismissal is a unanimous decision of the panel.


Summary: The tribunal has dismissed a preliminary objection filed by INEC seeking a dismissal of the petition of the PDP and its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar for failure to join the vice-president as a party in the suit having participated in the election that is the subject of the appeal.


10:11 am

The next Preliminary Objection (PO) to be decided was also filed by the first respondent INEC.

The PO is seeking an order striking out the petitioners list of documents for being incompetent.


10:23 am

The PO also sought for an order declaring that the lead counsel Mister Levi Uzoukwu who signed the petition is not a legal practitioner enrolled in roll or register of legal petitioners in Nigeria.


11: 22 am

Tribunal takes the preliminary objections of the second respondent who is President Muhammadu Buhari.

The PO is seeking an order of the tribunal to strike out the petitioners petition for lacking in merit.


11:44 am

The tribunal strikes out Osita Chidoka’s testimony.

Mr Chidoka is the star witness for the petitioner, Atiku Abubakar.


11:46 am

The tribunal also dismissed the contention by President Muhammadu Buhari that Atiku Abubakar did not qualify to file the petition as such it should be dismissed.

The court held that having participated in the election Atiku is competence to file a petition.


11:49am

The tribunal also struck out the Preliminary Objection of President Buhari seeking to expunge the paragraph of the petition which questioned the qualifications of the president to contest the election.

The tribunal held that in line with section 138 subsection 1(a)  of the 1999 constitution, the qualification of any person who participates in an election can be questioned.


12:18 am

The tribunal is now hearing the preliminary objection of the APC which is the third and last respondent in the petition.


12: 58 am

The tribunal goes on a short break.


01:50 pm

Tribunal resumes from break.


01:52 pm

Issues were raised by the petitioners in support of the petition.

The issues are:

Whether the second respondent was at the time of the election qualified at the time to participate.

Whether he supplied false information to participate in the said election.

Whether through evidence laid it was established that he was duly elected.

Whether the election was invalid through corrupt practices.

Whether it was invalid by substantial non-compliance to the electoral act and guidelines.


02:09 pm

Tribunal delivers lead judgment.

Chairman of the tribunal sets out what the law says about the qualification to participate in an election.

The law says a person can contest an election if he is a citizen who has attained 40 years and educated up to at least the school certification level and is a member of a political party.

03:00 pm



The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the 2019 Presidential election challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in its entirety.

The five-man panel of the tribunal, led by Justice Mohammed Garba gave the unanimous judgement on Wednesday.

The tribunal dismissed the petition in its entirety and the parties are to bear their respective cost.

“This petition is accordingly and hereby dismissed in its entirety.”

Other members of the five-man panel of the tribunal, agreed with the lead judgement.

Justice Garba affirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari is the winner of the 2019 presidential election.



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Buhari ‘Eminently Qualified’ To Contest Presidential Election, Tribunal Rules

The Presidential Election Tribunal on Wednesday ruled that President Muhammadu Buhari was ’eminently qualified’ to contest the 2019 elections.

In their suit, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar had contended that Buhari did not possess the minimum qualifications to contest the election.

But the Tribunal judgment said the petitioners were unable to prove their claim in court.

To contest for president, a candidate must have a minimum of a school leaving certificate.

The Tribunal reasoned that Buhari’s career in the army was only possible because he had a school leaving certificate

READ ALSO: Tribunal Dismisses Suit Seeking Atiku’s Disqualification Over Alleged Cameroonian Citizenship

During his career in the army, Buhari also took additional courses in which he performed credibly.

The chairman of the tribunal said the petitioners had failed to prove that the second respondent (Buhari) had submitted an affidavit with false information to INEC as part of the qualification to participate in the election.

He added that the law stipulates that a person can contest an election if he is a citizen who has attained 40 years and educated up to at least the school certification level and is a member of a political party.

The Tribunal, therefore, concluded that it had no doubt that Buhari possessed the minimum qualifications to contest for the presidential election.