BY SEGUN ADEBAYO, ABUJA – The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has described as provocative and barefaced subversion of justice the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal’s judgment on the February 23, 2019 presidential poll.
Rejecting the Tribunal’s verdict quashing its petition and that of its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari, the PDP insisted that the ruling is a direct assault on the integrity of Nigeria’s justice system.
The party said it was particularly shocking that the Tribunal failed to point to justice in delivering its judgment on both petitions.
According to the main opposition party, it was disappointing that despite the flawless evidence laid before it, showing that President Muhammadu Buhari was not qualified to contest the February 23 presidential election, the Tribunal still went ahead to give victory to President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The PDP further maintained that Buhari did not score majority of valid votes at the polls, saying it is bewildering that a court of law could validate a clear case of perjury and declaration of false information in a sworn affidavit.
The Party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said Nigerians were greatly disappointed that the Tribunal so brazenly mismanaged a case which firmly established electoral malpractices against the President and the APC, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence.
Ologbondiyan said PDP was rudely shocked that the Court took over the roles of President Buhari and APC’s counsels who clearly abandoned their pleadings by refusing to call evidence in defense of the petition.
“The court raked up all manner of excuses to make up for the yawning gaps occasioned by the total absence of any evidence from the respondents.
“Nigerians and the international community watched in utter disbelief when the tribunal ruled that one need not provide a copy or certified true copy of educational certificate such individual claimed to possess, contrary to established proof of claims of certification,” the PDP spokesman said.
The statement also said it was strange that the Tribunal even went ahead to provide rationalisations in favour of President Buhari, even when all hard facts before it showed that he did not possess the claimed educational certificate and that the Army was not in possession of his WAEC certificate as claimed in the affidavit he deposed to in his presidential nomination form.
The PDP said it was quite shocking that the Tribunal approved the “flawed” declaration of President Buhari as the winner of the election, despite evidence to show the perpetration of illegalities, manipulations, alterations and subtraction of valid votes freely given to Atiku Abubakar by Nigerians, adding; “Indeed, the pervading melancholic atmosphere across our nation since the verdict, is a direct indication that the judgment has not fulfilled the desires and expectations of Nigerians.”
The nation’s main opposition party however said its counsels were upbeat in obtaining justice at the Supreme Court, stressing that; “This is more so as the Tribunal itself admitted that there are several errors in the judgment.”
It therefore urged Nigerians and its teeming supporters to remain calm and not to lose hope or surrender to despondency or self-help as justice would still be served at the end.