TRIBUNAL: Real Reasons Why Atiku Wasn’t Declared Winner Of 2019 Election – INEC

INEC said Atiku failed to show how the number of votes cancelled affected the votes he got.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) insisted that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar did not win the 2019 election.

INEC said Atiku was not declared winner of the exercise because the PDP candidate did not secure majority of lawful votes during the election.

The electoral body also denied the allegation that votes were illegally awarded to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to make its candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, win a second term in office.

According to Vanguard, INEC gave the explanation in its final written address it filed before the Justice Mohammed Garba-led five-member panel presidential tribunal.

INEC’s team of lawyers led by Yunus Usman, asked the tribunal to dismiss the petitions by Atiku and the PDP over the victory of Buhari. The electoral body insists that the petitioners failed to justify why a fresh election should be conducted.

“Clearly, it can be gleaned that nothing concrete or specific has been offered by the petitioners (Atiku and the PDP) in this regard.

“For example, the petitioners pleaded wrong and deliberate entry of wrong results by the first respondent in 11 states of the country, namely: Borno, Yobe, Bahchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger and Zamfara states.

“The most astonishing part is that the petitioners failed to call witnesses who were at the various units to observe these various alleged anomalies.

“We submit that allegations bordering on alleged wrong entry/falsification of election result are criminal in nature and must be proved beyond reasonable doubt,” INEC said.

INEC also said Atiku failed to show how the total cancelled votes across the country affected the election.

“We submit that it is trite law that not only is the petitioner duty-bound to prove each and every allegation on non-compliance; he is also expected to prove that such non-compliance substantially affected the result of the election. See BUHARI V OBASANJO (supra), NYESOM WIKE V DAKUKU &ORS (supra).

“We humbly submit from the foregoing that the petitioners have failed to prove the allegation of non-compliance with the electoral act, and indeed every other allegation contained in the petition,” INEC said adding that the petitions lacked merits and should be thrown out on this point and this honourable court is urged so to do.

“In the instant petition, the petitioners called 62 witnesses in proof of their petition. Only 5 were polling agents, while 5 were Assistant Presiding Officers, who incidentally had no problem with the conduct of the election but only came to assert that they transmitted the election result to a fictitious and non-existent server.

“The rest of the witnesses called are Ward, Local Government, State or National Collation Agents. And the aim of the petitioner is to use them to prove allegations of non-compliance with the Electoral Act during the Presidential Elections in 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja. What a mission impossible!

“The eyes of the parties and candidates in an election at the Polling Unit are their respective agents and voters who were present to cast their votes. Consequently, in calling witnesses in proof of these allegations, these class of individuals are indispensable.

“Taking a rational, reasonable and critical examination and assessment of the evidence placed before this honorable court, one cannot but submit most humbly that the elements of the allegations of corrupt practices against the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents have not been proved at all talk less of proof beyond reasonable doubt”.

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