Tinubu asks Supreme Court to dismiss Atiku’s appeal

President Bola Tinubu has told the Supreme Court that claim by the former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, that his academic records were forged and riddled with discrepancies was a fabricated story.
Responding to the appeal by Atiku and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before the Supreme Court, Tinubu said Atiku and his party resorted to cooking up allegations against him when they failed to prove that he (Tinubu) was not qualified to have contested the February 25 presidential election.
He, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the appeal, and affirm the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PDP), which upheld his election.
In his response to the appeal by Atiku and PDP marked SC/CV/935/2023; with petition number: CA/PEPC/05/2023, Tinubu through his team of lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, maintained that he was the clear winner of the disputed polls with the highest number of votes and was validly returned as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He told the apex court that going by the statistics of the polls, he garnered one-quarter (25 percent) of the total votes in 29 states of the federation, while Atiku and the PDP only managed to secure 25 percent of the total votes in 21 states of the federation, “as against the constitutional requirement of 24.7 states, which is the mathematical results of two-thirds of the 36 states of the federation and the FCT (making 37).

Tinubu stated that having secured the highest number of valid votes cast and having fulfilled all constitutional requirements in that regard, INEC had no option but to declare him as the winner of the presidential contest.
He submitted that Atiku and the PDP, being dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, on March 21, approached the PEPC “on trumped up allegations of non-compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, corrupt practices, non-scoring of the majority of lawful votes cast at the election and non-qualification of the respondent.
“The hyperbolic character of the forgoing allegations was exposed by the petition itself, which had no facts in support thereof. Starting from the allegation of non-qualification of the respondent, all that the appellants submitted to the lower court through their petition was that the 2nd respondent (Tinubu) was at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the election and not having the constitutional threshold.”

Tinubu noted that Atiku and the PDP failed to explain what they meant by “constitutional threshold” not until all the respondents in the case concluded filing their replies to the petition.
“It was at this point that they rolled out their drums of cooked-up allegations of discrepancies in the 2nd respondent’s (Tinubu’s) academic qualifications, dual nationality and sundry bemusing allegations from the backdoor.
“While they also claimed to have won the highest number of votes cast at the election, as against INEC’s declaration, throughout their petition, they did not suggest an alternative score which they considered correct, whether for themselves or the respondent.
“Though they had alleged that the election was riddled with non-compliance and corrupt practices, the paragraphs of their petition putting up these allegations were nothing short of vague, imprecise, generic and nebulous.
For these allegations which ought to have been specifically demonstrated through facts and figures, like polling units and numbers, the appellants, through their petition, chose to regale the lower court and the respondents with breathtaking suspense, by stating that the said facts would be disclosed in their statistician’s report which was not part of the petition filed.
“It is only commonsensical that the respondents will only be able to respond to the facts in the petition and not on the crucial, albeit anticipated statistician’s report, since even the devil himself knows not the heart of man.”

Tinubu noted that out of 27 witnesses called by Atiku and the PDP during proceedings at the PEPC, 13 did not have their witness statements front-loaded with the petition.
He noted: “With these, it was obvious that the appellants did not intend to prosecute a petition, but rather, to venture into some form of blockbuster, laced with thrilling suspense, stunning surprises and ecstatic hide and seek recreational activities; and these necessitated series of objections from the respondents, challenging the competence of the petition, as well as the itemized nebulous paragraphs of same, the statement on oath of these subpoenaed witnesses, which were not front-loaded with the petition, and tones of documents sought to be tendered, which were either irrelevant or unconforming to the mandatory rules of admissibility.
Tinubu argued that from the position of the law, Atiku and his party in their joint appeal had not, “demonstrated any reason this Honorable Court should disturb any of the findings of the lower court, which, with all modesty are rooted in law and perfect demonstration of scholarship.
“We, accordingly, urge this Honorable Court to affirm the decision of the lower court, while dismissing this appeal in its entirety, as same is lacking in merit and bona fide.

‘We cannot draw the curtain on this brief, without drawing the Supreme Court’s attention to another hypocritical relief being claimed by the appellants in their petition, and more particularly, that in their supplication before the Supreme Court, they are asking that their reliefs be granted.
“The alternative relief (e) put forth by the appellants at the lower court reads: ‘An order directing the first respondent to conduct a second election (run-off) between the first petitioner and the second respondent.’ Undoubtedly, this relief has exposed the pretentious attitude of the appellants, both at prosecuting their case at the lower court and before this Honorable Court. Here are the same set of appellants alleging non-qualification of the respondent, via the backdoor, that is, through their reply on the one hand, and on the other hand, praying this Honorable Court to nullify the presidential election of February 25, 2023, and direct a second election between the first petitioner and the respondent.

“The logical conclusion from this approbative and reprobative posture of the appellants is that deep down in their hearts, they are convinced that the respondent won the election, but have decided to embark on this voyage of abuse of court processes.
“Lastly, may we draw the attention of the Supreme Court to the fact that at the lower court, this set of appellants did not ask for any relief that could inure to the benefit of the appellants in their final written address, as all issues formulated by them and prayers also sought by them before the lower court were targeted at the respondent, without any one of those reliefs designed for their benefit. May we quickly refer the court to the four issues formulated for determination in their final written address at page 6974 (vol. 9) of the record, and the concluding part of the address in paragraph 6.01 (a), (b), (c) and (d) on pages 7004¬7005 (vol. 9) of the record.

“Everything put together or summarized, this appeal is a further demonstration of the abusive nature to which the appellants have subjected court processes. The Supreme Court is urged to dismiss it.”


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