The Road to the final verdict between Atiku and Buhari

The Road to the final verdict between Atiku and Buhari

The 2019 Presidential elections have come and gone, but the effect on the major candidates and their supporters is yet to go away, with some of them having the hope of retaining power while others are hoping to emerge as winner through court process. 

After the conclusion of the 2019 presidential election, that threw up President Buhari as the winner, his closest rival, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar headed to the Presidential election petition tribunal (PEPT), to demand that he was the rightful winner of that election, but tribunal ruling presided over by Justice Muhammed Garba, ruled in favour of Buhari, dismissed all the allegations, including forgery of certificate and other grounds on which he was challenged. 

INEC results showed that Buhari pulled 15.1 million votes, while Atiku was able to clinch 11.2 million votes. According to Atiku, the result issued in his name and party, does not tally with what his party agents collated across the country. 

He also challenged results from Borno State, where a bomb blast occurred on the morning of the election. 

He emphasized that there were no voting in some of the northern states, which formed part of the reasons he went to the tribunal.

Atiku, having participated and lost in the presidential election according to the results from INEC, said that he is hopeful of reclaiming his mandate at the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court just announced October 30th, as the date of commencement of hearing between Atiku and Buhari. Their legal team are going back to the court room, this time, the apex court, to argue who truly won the election. It is expected that whatever is the outcome of the apex court rulings, it will be binding on both the petitioner and defendant, and also be the final stop for this power tussle between the two leaders. 

Prior to the 2019 Presidential poll, something that caught the interest of Nigerians happened, when the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Samuel N. Onnoghen, GCON was accused of corruption. He was the subject and headlines of major news papers for several months because he was accused of not declaring his assets properly at the code of conduct tribunal (CCT), but the opposition PDP alleged that President Buhari removed him, to pave the way for his loyal mam to be at the Supreme Court, in case he needed to get favorable judgement after the election. 

Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed, was appointed by President Buhari to replace Onnoghen, who was forced to retire. After Onnoghen's retirement which seems like a mission accomplished, nothing was heard of him in relation to the allegations against him.

Tanko, when visited by a Senate committee of judiciary led by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele from Ekiti State, he said that the Supreme Court under his leadership, will ensure that judgement is served appropriately without any fear or favour, Nigerian people are expressing hope by this statement, because one of the major points raised by Atiku's legal team was that, Buhari, as at the time he contested for the election, he was not qualified, he did not submit or attach his certificates obtained along with form CF001, to show that he obtain those certificates. 

President Buhari attached an affidavit to his form, and the PEPT judge ruled that anyone who is able to read, write and communicate is deemed to be called educated, but what electoral act stipulates is that, a minimum of school certificate must be attached.

Another ground Atiku's legal team are arguing, is the fact that there was name disparity in the documents submitted by President Buhari, but PEPT judge also said that, such is not a ground to disqualify Buhari, there was a precedence which was not referenced, in the case of Evan Enwerem and Evans Enwerem, court ruled that the two names were not the same.

Buhari's legal team on the other hand, alleged that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar should be disqualified, because he is not a citizen of Nigeria, although the argument did not hold any water, it was dismissed but Buhari still won at the PEPT, despite the efforts of Atiku's team. 

The final decision on who truly won the 2019 Presidential election, rests on the Supreme Court. Atiku's supporters and PDP members are hoping that they can still be victorious at the Supreme Court, while others are already asking the PDP to start the preparation for the 2023 elections, after what they experienced at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal and that of Osun governorship election petition tribunal.

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