Report on Interest

Court rules in Buhari’s favor, against PDP, Atiku’s petition

The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) has ruled that President Muhammad Buhari qualified to contest as presidential for All Progress Congress (APC) during last presidential election, as against People Democratic Party and his candidate, Atiku Abubakar, wish that Buhari be disqualified, on ground that he president did not posses West African School Certificate Examination, (WASCE), to contest the 2019 presidential election.
Besides, the court also struck out an argument by APC that Atiku  was not qualified to contest the last presidential election with claim that he is allegedly not a Nigerian by birth.
It also ruled that there was no evidence that INEC transmitted the results of the 2019 presidential election electronically to any server, the allegation of which was claimed by PDP and Atiku in their respective petitions
Interestingly, in its 6th ruling on Wednesday, the court said its power does not include determining the qualification of a petitioner in an election dispute but that its powers was to determine whether a person elected to the office of the president was validly elected and not to query the qualification of the petitioners to have contested the election, whose outcome was being queried.
In its ruling, it  said that Buhari was not only qualified, but eminently qualified to contest the election, saying that the petitioners, both Atiku  and PDP, could not run away from the fact that Buhari obtained WASCE which qualified him for the election.
Meanwhile, on petition of APC, the court said the party ought to have filed a cross-petition if it sought to challenge the qualification of  first petitioner to have contested the election.
While delivering judgement on the petition, the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Mohammed Garba, said that the petitioners, PDP and its presidential, Atiku Abubakar, failed to prove the existence of an INEC server or that the electoral commission transmitted results electronically.
The court held 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.
“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.

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