President Bola Tinubu has urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the appeal filed by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party, who are challenging his victory in the 2023 presidential election.
Tinubu argued that he was duly elected by the majority of lawful votes and met all the constitutional requirements.
Tinubu said Atiku and the PDP resorted to “cooking up allegations” against him when they failed to prove their claim that he was not qualified to have contested the last presidential election. He said the appellants did not explain what they meant by “constitutional threshold” until after he and other respondents had filed their responses to the petition.
He said: “It was at this point that they rolled out their drums of cooked-up allegations of discrepancies in the 2nd respondent’s (Tinubu’s) academic qualifications, dual nationality and sundry bemusing allegations from the backdoor.”
Tinubu also said that Atiku and the PDP did not present any alternative score for themselves or him, despite alleging that the election was marred by irregularities and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
He said the appellants’ allegations were vague, imprecise, generic and nebulous, and that they relied on a statistician’s report that was not part of their petition.
He said: “It is only commonsensical that the Respondents will only be able to respond to the facts in the petition and not on the crucial, albeit anticipated Statistician’s report, since even the devil himself knows not the heart of man.”
Tinubu further said that out of 27 witnesses called by Atiku and the PDP at the Presidential Election Petition Court, 13 did not have their witness statements attached to the petition.
Tinubu maintained that he was validly returned as the winner of the presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, having secured one-quarter/25 percent of the total votes in 29 states of the federation.
He said Atiku and the PDP only managed to secure 25 percent of the total votes in 21 states of the federation, which fell short of the constitutional requirement of two-thirds of 36 states and the FCT.
He therefore prayed for the dismissal of the appeal and the affirmation of the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court, which upheld his election.
He noted: “With these, it was obvious that the Appellants did not intend to prosecute a petition, but rather, to venture into some form of blockbuster, laced with thrilling suspense, stunning surprises and ecstatic hide and seek recreational activities; and these necessitated series of objections from the respondents, challenging the competence of the petition, as well as the itemised nebulous paragraphs of same, the statement on oath of these subpoenaed witnesses, which were not front-loaded with the petition and tons of documents sought to be tendered, which were either irrelevant or unconforming to the mandatory rules of admissibility.”
He argued that Atiku and the PDP did not demonstrate any reason why the apex should disturb any of the findings of the lower court, “which with all modesty, are rooted in law and perfect demonstration of scholarship.”
Tinubu added that even though Atiku challenged his qualifications, however, in his alternative prayer in court, he requested to have a run-off election with him.
He added: “The logical conclusion from this approbative and reprobative posture of the Appellants is that deep down in their hearts, they are convinced that the 2nd Respondent won the election, but have decided to embark on this voyage of abuse of court process.”
Tinubu noted that whereas Atiku and the PDP raised the issue of non-transmission of results, all their witnesses at the PEPC, “agreed that the election went very smoothly, where INEC complied with all the prescribed procedures.”
He argued that the tribunal was correct in arriving at its verdict and affirming his election.
Tinubu added that the Atiku and the PDP did not demonstrate any reason why the Supreme Court should disturb any of the findings of the PEPC “which with all modesty, are rooted in law and perfect demonstration of scholarship.
He said: “None of the appellants have demonstrated any reason why this honourable court should disturb any of the findings of the lower court, which, with all modesty are rooted in law and a perfect demonstration of scholarship.
“We accordingly urge this honourable court to affirm the decision of the lower court, while dismissing this appeal in its entirety, as same is lacking in merit and bona fide.
“Everything put together or summarized, this appeal is a further demonstration of the abusive nature to which the appellants have subjected court processes. The Supreme Court is urged to dismiss it.”