Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Why We Dismissed Atiku’s Petition Challenging Buhari In Its Entirety - Tribunal

The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, dismissed the petition of Atiku Abubakar challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election, in its entirety.

The five-man panel of justices led by Justice Mohammed Garba, held that the petitioners (Atiku, PDP) failed to “evidently prove” their case beyond “reasonable doubt.”

“The petitioners have a duty to prove all the allegations which are criminal in nature beyond reasonable doubt,” the lead judge (Mohammed Garba) said in his ruling.

He listed some of the allegations the PDP and Atiku raised in their petition to include, ‘compromised printing of election materials’, ‘manipulation of ballot boxes’, ‘manipulation of card readers’, and ‘manipulation of accreditation and collation'.

Others are, manipulation of security agencies and militarisation of election, manipulation of election materials’ delivery, arbitrary arrest of petitioners’ supporters and massive thumb-printing of ballot papers.

“Under these issues, the petitioners alleged the election was marred by irregularities, misuse of scarce resources, manipulation of result sheets, over-voting, wrongful recording of results, intimidation of voters among others in 11 ‘focal states’,”Justice Garba said.

The petitioners’ 11 focal states are, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Yobe and Zamfara States.

The tribunal insisted that the allegations levelled under issues 4 and 5 (above) were criminal in nature that must be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

The tribunal also said the petitioners failed to discharge the burden of proof that Buhari was not elected by a majority of lawful votes.

Three members of the five-man panel of justices agreed with the lead judge (Mohammed Garba) in his ruling.

The Tribunal, therefore, stroke out the entire petition of Atiku and the PDP against Buhari and the APC, for lacking merit, and failure to evidently prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.

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