Full detail of tribunal ruling that gave Buhari defaet over Atiku of PDP
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) published its complete report, which upheld President Muhammadu Buhari’s election as the presidential election’s real winner on February 23.
The court had indicated that the petitioners did not demonstrate any of the petition’s basis as recognized by legislation, thus discarding the petition as a whole.
“And the petition is hereby rejected in its entirety,” said the decision provided by Justice Mohammed Garba Lawal.
The decision followed a 18 March petition by Atiku Abubakar and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s statement that Buhari won the election.
The court rejected portion of the PDP petition alleging that All Progressive Congress (APC) ruling had deployed safety officers to manipulate the presidential election in 2019. It said the PDP should have included as part of the suit the safety officers alleged to have been engaged in the petition.
In addition, the court denied INEC’s request to nullify the records and witnesses submitted by the PDP on the basis that the petitioners produced the lead attorney, Livy Uzoukwu’s name in their petition, incorrectly orthographed.
The APC and INEC encouraged the tribunal to strike it out for the petitioners ‘ claims of electoral malpractice, saying it was vague and nebulous.
It decided that the claims were vague and nebulous as the participants claimed, although there was no mention of particular fields of alleged malpractice.
In the main allegations of no possession of a minimum education qualification and the submission of an affidavit containing false information to INEC against Buhari, the tribunal, after passing through the whole hog of legal fireworks made by the counsel, affirmed that “the second respondent (Buhari) was not only qualified but eminently qualified to contest the presidential election.”
Consequently, it rejected the petition, stating that the arguments go to no problem and was a rebuttable presumption.
The court also pointed out that the evidence presented to challenge Buhari’s educational qualification was not to be relied on as the PDP was not the certificate’s manufacturer.
With regard to the contentious use of INEC server and card reader computers, the tribunal said that there was no subsistent electoral law mandating the use of smart card reader, a situation that it maintained has not altered since 2015.
It also said that the card readers could only be used to administer the voting card and authenticate the voter, but not to authenticate the outcomes of the election.
Therefore, the tribunal’s five-member panel said the implementation of the PDP proposing the use of a central server to settle the outcome was misconceived.
The tribunal observed in part of the petition about the supposed use of a central server that the PDP had said Section 9 of the Electoral Act had been modified in 2015.
The chairman of the panel observed: “The question is: can it really be said that the revised section effectively empowered INEC to electronically transmit election results?
“The tribunal has only an obligation to interpret the law. The tribunal has no authority to amend the law. “The tribunal read the provision’s import, saying that Section 22(a) does not provide for the transmission of outcomes electronically.
The tribunal then read through other parts of the legislation and added: “It is undeniable that the transmission of the election consequence is manual at separate levels of the elections from the states to the domestic level at separate phases.
“No provision allows the first respondent or any of his officers to transfer the outcomes of the election to any of the servers.
“Nothing allows the first respondent to use the smart card reader to collect outcomes as well. I don’t know the electorate were substituted by the card reader machine.
Sherifat Adebayo signed the Certified True Copy of the decision acquired by politicsnigeria.