Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar expressed his dissatisfaction and refusal to accept the judgement of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, which affirmed President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February 25, 2023, presidential election. At a world press conference held at the PDP headquarters in Abuja, Atiku stated that the tribunal’s judgement did not restore confidence and was devoid of substantial justice.
The tribunal dismissed the case of Atiku, who represented the Peoples Democratic Party, and his Labour Party opponent, Peter Obi, upholding Tinubu’s victory. Both Atiku and Obi rejected the judgement and vowed to challenge it at the Supreme Court. Atiku’s Lead Counsel, Chris Uche, SAN, confirmed that they had received instructions from their client to file an appeal.
The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) began its session at the Court of Appeal in Abuja and unanimously upheld Tinubu’s electoral victory. The panel, consisting of five members including Justice Haruna Tsammani, ruled that the petitions had no merit. Despite the setback, Atiku addressed the press conference, stating his unwavering confidence in the judiciary and his intention to continue the legal battle by appealing to the Supreme Court.
Atiku emphasized his belief that the court system is the sanctuary of justice and expressed disappointment in the verdict. He mentioned the need to challenge the management of the last presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), emphasizing the compromised gains in ensuring transparent elections through the deployment of technology. Atiku believed that the judgement failed to restore confidence in the pursuit of free and fair elections without human manipulations.
As a politician, Atiku acknowledged that he is no stranger to legal battles and credited the judiciary as a worthy pillar in the pursuit of justice throughout his career. His ultimate goal in challenging the outcome of the presidential election is to strengthen democracy through the principles and processes of fair hearing. With the activation of his constitutionally guaranteed rights of appeal, Atiku expressed his determination to continue his fight for justice.
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