The former Vice President and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has asked the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja to declare him the winner of the February 25 presidential election, saying he won in 21 states.
Atiku made this claim in his final written address filed on July 20, through his legal team led by Chief Chris Uche, SAN. He based his argument on a response filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to his petition challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Atiku alleged that INEC manipulated the technologies put in place to ensure transparency and wrongfully returned Tinubu as the winner. He also accused Tinubu of being unqualified to contest the election due to an order of criminal forfeiture against him arising from a drug-related offence, his declaration of allegiance to a country other than Nigeria and acquisition of citizenship of another country and presenting a forged certificate to INEC.
Atiku listed Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Osun, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara as states where he emerged victorious. He insisted that INEC did not dispute or deny his victory in these states throughout the proceedings and therefore urged the court to accept his claim as valid.
He said: “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.”
Atiku also stated that he had proven that Tinubu’s return as the president was invalidated by reason of substantial non-compliance with the mandatory provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 on electronic transmission of results for collation and verification by deliberate bypass of and failure to transmit the election results electronically.
He prayed the court to nullify Tinubu’s election and declare him as the lawful winner of the poll.
The court is expected to deliver its judgment on July 25.