Abubakar Atiku, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the previous election, has made a plea to the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal. Atiku is urging the tribunal to uphold the declaration made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that he won in 21 states during the February 25 presidential election.
In his final address, presented by his lead counsel, Chris Uche SAN, Atiku pointed out that INEC’s claim that he won in 25 states was never disputed, retracted, debunked, or proven to be an error throughout the proceedings of the tribunal.
The response from INEC to Atiku’s petition asserted that the PDP presidential candidate had won in 21 states of the Federation during the last presidential poll. The states listed by INEC are Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Osun, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara.
Atiku emphasized that since INEC itself claimed he won those 21 states and never refuted this assertion during the proceedings, the tribunal should proceed to uphold the declaration.
The final written address highlighted a crucial admission made by INEC in paragraph 18 of its Reply to the Petition. INEC unequivocally stated, “The 1st Respondent further avers that in compliance with extant laws and regulations, it diligently discharged its duties when it collated the 1st Petitioner’s (Atiku) scores at the election, which aggregate to 6,984,520, winning only 21 states.”
Atiku’s legal team emphasized that INEC’s admission constituted an admission that required no further proof and was also an admission against interest.
In light of these points, Atiku pleaded with the Tribunal to uphold INEC’s assertion and declare him as the winner of the February 25 Presidential Election. The final verdict on the matter remains with the Tribunal.