Tinubu Challenges Atiku’s Presidential Election Petition, Highlights History of Consistent Defeats

Tinubu Challenges Atiku

Bola Tinubu, who has been elected as the President, has raised concerns about the legal validity of the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and their candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to challenge his election victory. In a preliminary objection submitted to the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Abuja, Tinubu pointed out Atiku’s history of switching political parties and labelled him as a consistent serial loser who has been on a losing streak since 1993 in his quest for power.

Tinubu further stated that during the court hearing, he will present evidence to demonstrate how Atiku’s candidacy in the presidential election led to the disintegration of the opposition PDP. Tinubu claimed that Atiku’s emergence caused the “Balkanisation” of the party, resulting in its inability to mount a formidable challenge to his victory.

Tinubu Claps Back at Atiku, Citing Consistent Losses Since 1993

In response to the legal challenge filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, Bola Tinubu, the President-elect, has questioned the legal competence of the petition. Tinubu entered a preliminary objection before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Abuja, highlighting Atiku’s consistent losses since 1993 across various political parties.

Tinubu’s statement emphasized Atiku’s history of losing both party primaries and general elections, including his defeat in the 2019 presidential election to President Muhammadu Buhari. The President-elect also mentioned how Atiku’s candidacy led to the division of the opposition PDP, which he claims resulted in the party’s failure at the polls.

Tinubu went on to state that the electorate’s rejection of Atiku in the 2023 presidential election was not a surprise, given his previous electoral failures. He promised to present evidence to the court to support his claims during the hearing of the petition.

Bola Tinubu Defends Presidential Election Victory Against Atiku’s Petition

Bola Tinubu, the President-elect, has vehemently defended his victory in the presidential election against Atiku Abubakar’s petition to nullify the results. Tinubu filed a preliminary objection at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Abuja, questioning the legal competency of the PDP candidate’s petition.

In response to Atiku’s claims, Tinubu highlighted his consistent political alignment and tendency, unlike Atiku, who he referred to as a “consistent serial loser.” Tinubu went on to mention Atiku’s track record of losing successive presidential elections in Nigeria since 1993, including the 2019 presidential election, where he lost to President Muhammadu Buhari.

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Tinubu emphasized that he has always carried his supporters along, increasing his political followership, while Atiku has lost most of his followers in the process of moving from one political party to the other. Tinubu revealed that Atiku has crisscrossed different political parties in Nigeria, including being a member of the PDP, before joining the Action Congress in 2007 as the presidential candidate, returning to the PDP thereafter, before joining the All Progressives Congress in 2015 to contest the primary election with President Muhammadu Buhari, and finally returning to the PDP in 2019 to emerge as its presidential candidate.

Tinubu insisted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had validly returned him as the winner of the presidential election and he was confident that he would prove his victory during the hearing of the petition. Tinubu will lead evidence before the court to show how Atiku’s emergence as a candidate in the presidential election led to the “Balkanisation” of the opposition PDP.

Tinubu reiterated his consistency as a politician, unlike Atiku, and emphasized his readiness to defend his victory at the Presidential Election Petition Court.

In the aftermath of the 2023 Nigerian presidential election, Bola Tinubu, the President-elect, has responded to the legal challenge filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar. Tinubu filed a preliminary objection with the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Abuja, questioning the legal competence of the petition to nullify his victory. He also criticized Atiku as a consistent serial loser who has been contesting and losing successive presidential elections since 1993.

According to Tinubu, Atiku’s emergence as the presidential candidate of the PDP in 2023 caused irreconcilable hostilities within the party, leading to the emergence of a group of governors known as the G-5 Governors who opposed Atiku and vowed to mobilize their people against him. Tinubu argued that his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), is a national party that is popular among Nigerians, cutting across all divides. In contrast, he pointed out that the PDP has been engrossed in intra-party irreconcilable feuds and infighting in recent years, both in relation to its national offices and officers, as well as the convention that produced Atiku as its presidential candidate.

Tinubu also highlighted the division within the PDP by pointing out that before the balkanization of the party, the Southeastern States of Enugu, Abia, Imo, Ebonyi, and Anambra used to be controlled by the party. However, in the 2023 presidential election, these states went the way of the Labour Party, whose candidate was former PDP member Peter Gregory Obi. Tinubu noted that Obi polled a total of 6,101,533 votes, while another former PDP member, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, polled 1,496,687 votes on the ticket of the New Nigeria People’s Party.

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Tinubu intends to lead evidence before the court to show how Atiku’s emergence as a candidate led to the “balkanization” of the PDP. He will also rely on copies of newspaper publications and social media content in respect of the said subject. Tinubu maintains that the electorate rejected Atiku at the polls of the 2023 presidential election, adding that the APC, presently the political party in power in Nigeria, has the President of the country, 20 State Governors, 64 Senators, 217 members of the House of Representatives, and about 600 members of the States’ Houses of Assembly, nationwide. On the other hand, the PDP has just 14 State Governors, 39 Senators, and 111 Members of the House of Representatives.

The 3rd respondent produced 15 Governors in the elections held on 25th February 2023 and 18th March 2023, compared to 9 produced by the 2nd petitioner. Additionally, the 3rd respondent produced 64 Senators, and 217 Representatives, while the 2nd petitioner produced only 33 Senators and 104 Representatives. The respondent plans to provide evidence showing that the political party controlling most of the states and national and state assemblies has consistently produced the President since 1999, including in the 2023 elections. The respondent will also rely on documented evidence of the 2nd petitioner’s internal squabbles, loss of relevance and popularity within its ranks and amongst Nigerians, and abysmal electoral performance in recent years, including only winning 33 out of 109 Senatorial seats and about 100 out of 360 seats in the House of Representatives.

Furthermore, the fortune of the 2nd petitioner has dwindled, as it was only able to win 9 governorship seats in the 2023 election cycle. On the other hand, the 3rd respondent has maintained an emphatic majority in both chambers of the National Assembly and a majority of states across Nigeria in the past three election cycles, apart from winning the presidential elections. Tinubu also stated that although Atiku raised allegations against election results from states won by Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, he failed to join them as necessary and desirable parties in the petition.

Tinubu, the President-elect, has criticized the legal standing of the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to nullify his election. He argued that the PDP candidate has been persistently contesting and losing elections in Nigeria since 1993, including the recent presidential election. Tinubu also claimed that the petition constituted a gross abuse of the judicial process, adding that Atiku sponsored a suit before the Supreme Court accusing INEC of sidelining its Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, 2022.

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Tinubu further pointed out that the petitioners, Atiku and the PDP, were challenging the results of elections in states where they had won, including Adamawa, Bauchi, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Gombe, Yobe, Sokoto, Osun, Kebbi, and Katsina States, without making themselves co-respondents to the petition. This, he said, was in contravention of section 133(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022, which mandates a party whose election is being challenged to be made a respondent. He also accused the petitioners of maintaining two processes in respect of the same subject and/or complaint against the conduct of the presidential election.

Tinubu, through his legal team headed by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, has strongly opposed the petition filed by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to nullify his election as President of Nigeria. Tinubu dismissed the petition, describing it as an abuse of the Originating Summons filed at the Supreme Court, and requested that the case be dismissed on the grounds that it fails to establish a reasonable cause of action against his election victory.

In response to Atiku’s claim that Tinubu did not secure the statutory vote from the Federal Capital Territory, Tinubu argued that it was not a mandatory requirement of the law for him to win the FCT before being declared as the President-elect. Tinubu also argued that Atiku’s call for his election to be nullified on the grounds that he did not score one-quarter of the lawful votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the States and the FCT becomes suspect and abusive when considered vis-à-vis relief 150(d).

Tinubu also dismissed Atiku’s alternative prayer for a second election between the two of them as ungrantable and unguardable, noting that the request was not premised on any predicate declaratory relief. Tinubu further stated that relief 150 (f) which calls for a fresh (re-run) election to be ordered is unguardable, and prayed the court to strike out paragraphs 19 to 150 of the petition for being “nebulous, inchoate, imprecise, incompetent, generic, and vague”, and dismiss the entire case for failure of the petitioners to establish a reasonable cause of action against his election victory.

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