The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate in the last election Alhaji Atiku Abubakar The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate in the last election Alhaji Atiku Abubakar have just suffered a setback.,
They have failed to prove their allegation concerning the use of server in the last election.
Atiku had challenged President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in the Feb. 23 general election
The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) gave the ruling on Wednesday, the Court of Appeal, Abuja.
Delivering judgment on the matter, the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Mohammed Garba said that the petitioners failed to prove the existence of an INEC server.
He also declared that there was no evidence that INEC transmitted the results of the 2019 presidential election electronically to any server.
“I have carefully examined and examined Exhibit 28 (INEC Manual for Election) tendered by the petitioners, I did not see where there is provision for electronic transmission of result of election,” Justice Garba said
He added that there was no law in place in Nigeria that allows electronic transmission of results or the transmission of result using card reader going by the electoral act.
A report monitored from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) showed that security was strengthened up on Wednesday within the premise to forestall any negative incident.
The Police, operatives of the Department of State Services and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps mounted security checks at both ends to the court. located in the Three Arms Zone, in the FCT.
Those entering the premises were subjected to checks by security personnel.
It will be recalled that the tribunal hads on Aug.21 reserved judgment in the petition after parties adopted their addresses.
Chairman of the tribunal is Justice Mohammed Garba,
President Buhari had scored 15,191,847 votes as against Atiku’s 11, 262,978 votes in that election and was declared the winner
Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Counsel for Buhari, had described the petition as a sham, adding: “I have handled a few electoral petition cases, this is one petition that yarns for help, for assistance and for evidence but could not get any.
“Apart from the hype the matter has generated, there is nothing in law to support the allegations before the tribunal, Olanipekun said.
On the qualification of the president, Olanipekun said Section 131 (b) had settled that matter.
“I make bold to say that the Constitution and case laws had not compelled the candidates of the election to tendered certificates or attached same to INEC form before submission.
“The laws only mandate any person contesting election in the country to have gone to school up to Secondary School level,’’ he said.
NAN reports that on the issue of election results transmission by electronic means, the counsel said the use of such technology must be provided for in the Electoral Act.
“The allegation on the management of server by INEC is vague. Where is the server? This is a million dollar question that the petitioners could not substantiate.
“My Lords, this petition was not properly diagnosed, the action was ill-advised, I therefore urge the tribunal not to bow to sentiment or public opinion that does not represent the law.
“This petition is liable to be dismissed with a considerable cost’’, Olanipekun said.
Mr Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, Counsel for All Progressive Congress (APC) said he aligned himself with the submissions made Olanipekun.
He added: “My Lords it is disheartening to see that this petition still remains watery at this stage.
“The petition made allegations they could not proof. We have done a table showing how the petitioners have proven the case so far.
“The election took place in 119,976 Polling Units, 8,901 Wards in 774 Local Government Areas across the country.
“It is sad therefore to see that the petitioners only called 62 witnesses. Out of this figure, only five witnesses gave direct evidence of what happened in polling units on the day of election.
“I feel sad that this matter has been starved of evidence and therefore deserves to be dismissed,’’ Fagbemi said.