2019 Presidential Election: Atiku, PDP Failed To Call Credible Witnesses, Says Supreme Court

I'm 'Far More Qualified' Than Atiku, Buhari Tells Election Tribunal

 

The Supreme Court has said that the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, failed to call credible witnesses in their appeal filed challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 Presidential Elections.

The Apex court which gave reasons for the dismissal of the appeal filed by the PDP and Atiku on Friday added that the Appellant failed to prove that Buhari is not educated up to secondary school level,

A unanimous summary judgment delivered by Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Muhammad, on October 30, 2019, dismissed the appeal filed by Atiku and the PDP after the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal had earlier on in September 11, 2019, dismissed the petition against the election of Buhari on the grounds that the petitioners failed to substantiate the allegations made in their petition.

READ ALSO: Election Petition: Atiku’s Lawyers Absent As Supreme Court Gives Reasons For Ruling

Justice John Okoro who read the submissions of the CJN held that the failure of the appellants to call credible witnesses was fatal to their case as they presented only five witnesses including a star witness who relied on hearsay evidence.

He added that the appellants failed to prove issues of over voting when it could not produce authentic voters register to validate its claim.

Justice Okoro stated that the unanimous decision of the court delivered on the 30th of October, 2019 is in total agreement with the verdict of the lower court which upheld and affirmed the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

Election Petition: Atiku’s Lawyers Absent As Supreme Court Gives Reasons For Ruling

 

About 20 Senior Advocates of Nigeria and over 30 junior lawyers representing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar are absent at the Supreme Court where the reasons why their appeal challenging the outcome of the February 23 presidential election is expected to be delivered.

The Apex court had on October 30, in a unanimous summary judgment, dismissed the appeal filed by Atiku and his party, and set November 15, 2019, as the date to explain reasons for the dismissal of the appeal.

RELATED: Supreme Court Set Date To Give Reasons On Dismissal Of Atiku’s Appeal

Chief Justice of Nigeria Ibrahim Muhammad while delivering the summary judgment had announced that the court would later offer its reasons to the general public on why it dismissed the appeal the way it did.

At the hearing, all the SANs who led the legal teams of the All Progressives Congress, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Independent National Electoral Commission were already seated.

More to follow…

Supreme Court Set Date To Give Reasons On Dismissal Of Atiku’s Appeal

 

The Supreme Court has set the date to explain the dismissal of the appeal filed by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar which challenged the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of the February 23, 2019 presidential election.

The set date is Friday November 15, 2019.

The apex court had in a unanimous summary judgment delivered on October 30, 2019, dismissed the appeal filed by Atiku and his party.

READ ALSO: Senate Wants Deep Blue Sea Project Fast-Tracked To Fight Piracy

Chief Justice of Nigeria Ibrahim Muhammad while delivering the summary judgment had announced that the court would later offer its reasons to the general public on why it dismissed the appeal the way it did.

Atiku and PDP had in their joint appeal filed in September, challenged the entire judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which affirmed the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal had on September 11, 2019 dismissed the petition of Atiku and the PDP against the election of Buhari on the grounds that the petitioners failed to substantiate the allegations made in their petition.

Indian Supreme Court Clears Way For Hindu Temple At Disputed Site

Supporters of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) organisation celebrate the Indian Supreme Court’s verdict on disputed religious site in Ayodhya awarded to Hindus, in Ahmedabad on November 9, 2019. India’s top court handed a huge victory to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party on November 9 by awarding Hindus control of a bitterly disputed holy site that has sparked deadly sectarian violence in the past.
SAM PANTHAKY / AFP

 

India’s top court cleared the way on Saturday for a Hindu temple to be constructed at a hotly disputed holy site, in a huge victory for Hindu nationalists under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Supreme Court ruled that the site in Ayodhya in northern India, where Hindu mobs destroyed a 460-year-old mosque in 1992, must be handed over to a trust to oversee the construction of a Hindu temple, subject to conditions.

A separate piece of land in Ayodhya would be given over to Muslim groups to build a new mosque, the court ruled in a historic judgement aimed at ending a bitter and decades-old legal and sectarian battle.

Israel Supreme Court Upholds Expulsion Of Human Rights Watch Official

 

Israel’s supreme court on Tuesday upheld a government decision to expel a senior Human Rights Watch official over his alleged support of a boycott of the country, the ruling said.

Israel has sought to expel Omar Shakir, the New York-based rights group’s director for Israel and the Palestinian territories, for more than a year.

It will now be up to the government whether to follow through and deport Shakir, a US citizen, who brands the move a bid by Israel to silence and delegitimise critics of its treatment of the Palestinians.

“If it proceeds, I have 20 days to leave & (Israel will) join ranks of Iran, N Korea & Egypt in blocking access for @hrw official,” Shakir tweeted after the decision was announced.

It would be the first expulsion of its kind under a 2017 law allowing the deportation of foreigners who support boycotting Israel, although there have been cases of people being denied entry under the measure.

Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said he was “delighted that the supreme court this morning has validated my decision to not extend the visa of Omar Shakir, one of the leaders of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, for his support for boycotting Israel.”

“All those who work against Israel must know that we will not let them live or work here,” he added.

HRW said it urges businesses to stop operating in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank in order to avoid complicity in human rights abuses, but insisted it does not advocate a boycott of Israel itself.

It said it had “vigorously contested” claims Shakir had done so since joining the organisation.

Kenneth Roth, its executive director, condemned the court’s decision and warned that more such rulings would follow.

“The supreme court has effectively declared that free expression in Israel does not include completely mainstream advocacy for Palestinian rights,” he said.

“If the government now deports Human Rights Watch’s researcher for asking businesses to respect rights as we do across the world, there’s no telling whom it will throw out next.”

The case against Shakir was initially based on alleged statements in support of a boycott he made “in the distant past”, prior to taking up his post, HRW says.

The government later added new statements it alleges are in support of a boycott.

Israel’s ministry of strategic affairs, which probes potential violations of the 2017 law, alleges Shakir’s activism, particularly related to the country’s occupation of the West Bank, has amounted to calls for a boycott.

The BDS movement calls for a broad-ranging boycott of Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians.

Israel sees the movement as a strategic threat and accuses it of anti-Semitism — a claim activists strongly deny.

PDP Asks Supreme Court Justices To Give Reasons For Verdict

PDP Hails Supreme Court Ruling On Zamfara Election

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the justices of the Supreme Court to release their reasons for the judgement on the presidential election petition filed by the party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

The party made the request in a statement on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan.

This followed the verdict of the apex court which dismissed the appeal filed by the former vice president, to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 poll, for lacking in merit.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Dismisses Atiku’s Appeal

Speaking on behalf of the seven-man panel of justices that sat, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, stated that members 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.

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

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

In its reaction, the PDP said it was shocked at the judgment, stressing that it was far from what Nigerians and supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) expected.

“What we witnessed today (Wednesday) was not what majority of Nigerians, who participated and observed the presidential election expected; and this includes even members of the APC.

“The PDP notes that it indeed made a solid case, with indisputable evidence, showing that Atiku Abubakar won the presidential election and as such is surprised that the justices of the Supreme Court held otherwise; however, that is the highest court of the land,” the statement said.

The opposition party, however, stated that the distinction of its case would remain for Nigerians to appreciate, even the generations yet unborn.

It also thanked the millions of Nigerians who voted for its candidate in the election and for their support for the party during the poll and throughout the duration of court proceedings.

There Would Have Been Jubilation Nationwide, If Supreme Court Had Sacked Buhari – Galadima

The spokesman for the presidential campaign council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Buba Galadima, has faulted the verdict of the Supreme Court on the 2019 presidential election outcome.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, Galadima said if the highest court of the land had upturned the election of President Muhammadu Buhari, the entire nation would have been filled with jubilation.

READ ALSO: 2019 Presidential Election: Supreme Court Dismisses Atiku’s Appeal

“If this judgment today had been that Buhari was removed from office, I’m sure that by now, there would have been fireworks all over this country.

“People would have been jubilating, pouring water on the streets and celebrating. But have you seen any individual who has demonstrated that he is happy with this judgment?” he asked.

Galadima said his party is interested in knowing how the apex court arrived at its decision.

“We are waiting to hear the final analysis of how they arrived at that decision. And we as Nigerians have a cover under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria whether it supports our view,” he said.

When asked to react on court judgments given against the PDP’s favour, Galadima noted that today’s development showed that the Nigerians were not happy with the ruling.

His comments follow the Supreme Court’s dismissal of an appeal filed by the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging President Buhari’s victory in the presidential election.

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

Supreme Court Verdict Is A Victory For Democracy – Gbajabiamila

 

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

Gbajabiamila, who said though the victory of the President at the February presidential polls was never in doubt, however, expressed his appreciation of the final victory, whereby Nigerian democracy was tested by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

READ ALSO: Nigerians Voted PDP, APC Knows They Were Rejected – Secondus

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker said, “I want to use this opportunity to congratulate the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces on his final electoral victory that was challenged by PDP and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Gbajabiamila said: “It is my conviction that this final victory, which has never been in doubt since the conclusion of the election would allow the President to concentrate on his determination to champion good governance for the generality of Nigerians, the reason why he was voted for in the first place.

“I also congratulate our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the victory. This goes to show that the party has come of age in party politics and in putting forward the best hands that can and will take Nigeria to greater heights through the fulfillment of our Manifestos and support for government policies.

“I want to urge, Mr Atiku Abubakar, who has put to test our justice delivery system by contesting the election result from the lowest to the highest court, and the PDP to accept the judgment in good faith and in the spirit of sportsmanship and help the government in building a strong, prosperous and united Nigeria.

”I rejoice with President Buhari and our party, APC over this victory”.

Supreme Court Verdict: It’s Time To Close Rank, Support Buhari – Oshiomhole

APC National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, addressing a press conference in Abuja on September 5, 2019.

 

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

Oshiomhole who was a guest on Channnels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday asked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rethink.

“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.

“Give him all the support he needs. I expect PDP to offer constructive criticism as a loyal opposition and offer policy solutions,” he said.

READ ALSO: We Are Waiting To Know How Supreme Court Arrived At Decision, Says Galadima

When asked to react to a claim made by PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus that the nation is bleeding under this administration, Oshiomhole replied saying: “Nigeria’s future isn’t tied to the PDP.”

Speaking further, he said: “If anything, Buhari came on a rescue mission. Nigeria was on the sliding scale when Buhari came in 2015. So I think it’s twisting the facts upside down.”

While admitting the fact that the nation’s challenges have not been fully addressed, the APC chief blamed the PDP past governments for them.

Recalling that there was excess crude boom, he wondered why the previous administrations would secure loan without justifying the revenue accrued.

His remarks come hours after the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal filed by the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging President Buhari’s victory in the presidential election.

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

Supreme Court Judgement: Nigeria Must Now ‘Move On’, Says Buhari

File photo: President Muhammadu Buhari

 

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’.

President Buhari who is away in Saudi Arabia for the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference, was quoted in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, stressed that the victory had been settled since February 2019.

READ ALSO: I Fought A Good Fight For The Nigerian People – Atiku

Atiku lost the presidential election by a margin close to 15 percent of the total vote and challenged the outcome at the tribunal which ruled in September 2019 against him and his party, the PDP.

“The President and Government of Nigeria do wish to extend our gratitude to former vice-president and his party for undertaking their campaign through protestations to the courts.

‘‘In this regard, they have conducted themselves in line with the laws of the country they sought to lead.

“Now, following this final legal bid before the highest court, it is time the country is afforded the right to move on – in the interest of all Nigerians – regardless of how they voted”.

The statement added that President Buhari and the Federal Government should be allowed to focus on addressing the issues concerning the country.

“The elected President and his Government now must be enabled to focus solely on addressing the issues that concern the country.

“From building economic empowerment and opportunities for the nearly 200 million Nigerians, 60 percent of whom are youths bubbling with energy, to defeating the twin ills of terrorism and corruption, there is much work to do”.

PDP, Atiku Should Gracefully Accept Court Verdict, Says Lawan

File Photo: The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan

 

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has asked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, to gracefully accept the final verdict of the Supreme Court.

The apex court had on Wednesday, dismissed an appeal filed by the PDP and Atiku for lacking in merit after challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election of February 23, 2019.

READ ALSO: I Fought A Good Fight For The Nigerian People – Atiku

Lawan in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi, said that after the end of litigation, attention should be shifted to showing support to President Buhari as he hopes to build the country.

“Now that the litigation is over, we should all rally as one people behind the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, in his commitment to building the great nation of our dream.

“The petitioners should gracefully accept the final verdict of our court of law while the winners should demonstrate magnanimity by extending the hand of fellowship to the opposition with a view to carrying all Nigerians along in the arduous task of nation-building,” Lawan said.

He urged President Buhari and his government to continue to focus on good governance so as to deliver on the President’s agenda of improving the lives of Nigerians and putting the nation on the path of sustainable development.

Lawan said the ninth National Assembly will continue to produce good legislation and pursue the harmonious relationship between the organs of government and among Nigerians for the unity, peace, and progress of our fatherland.

I Fought A Good Fight For The Nigerian People – Atiku

INEC Denying Atiku Access To Election Materials Despite Court Order, Says PDP
A file photo of former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.

 

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has said that he fought a good fight and will not relent for Nigeria and democracy.

Atiku’s comment is coming on the heels of the dismissal of his appeal at the Supreme Court.

The apex court had earlier on Wednesday, 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.

Speaking on behalf of a 7-man panel, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad stated that members of the panel had read all the documents and exhibits filed in the case for about two weeks and discovered that the appeal was lacking in merit.

Reacting to the decision, Atiku said he must accept that the judicial route which he chose to take, as a Democrat, has come to a conclusion.

“While I believe that only God is infallible everywhere, and only Nigerians are infallible in our democracy, I must accept that the judicial route I chose to take, as a Democrat, has come to a conclusion.

“Whether justice was done, is left to the Nigerian people to decide. As a democrat, I fought a good fight for the Nigerian people. I will keep on fighting for Nigeria and for democracy, and also for justice.”

READ ALSO: 2019 Presidential Election: Supreme Court Dismisses Atiku’s Appeal

He stated that Nigeria as a country needs a strong judiciary and an impartial electoral umpire.

“In a democracy, you need a strong judiciary, a free press, and an impartial electoral umpire. Nigeria has none of those three elements as at today. One man, one woman, one youth, one vote, should be the only way to make gains in a democracy. And when that is thwarted, the clock starts to tick.

“The Nigerian judiciary, just like every estate of our realm, has been sabotaged and undermined by an overreaching and dictatorial cabal, who have undone almost all the democratic progress the Peoples Democratic Party and its administrations nurtured for sixteen years, up until 2015.”

Atiku insisted that he remains focused on Nigeria and he remains strong.

“To those who think they have broken my spirit, I am sorry to disappoint you. I am too focused on Nigeria to think about myself. I gave up that luxury twenty years ago. The question is not if I am broken. The question is if Nigeria is whole?

“I was a democrat, I am a democrat, and I will always continue to be a democrat. May God bless Nigeria,” he added.