• Keyamo: APC to file cross petition contesting votes in Southeast
• Atiku, Obi get court’s permission to inspect INEC materials
• Seven PDP states discontinue suit seeking review of Feb 25 election results
• ADC candidate Kachikwu hails APC candidate, says victory well-deserved
The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council (APC PCC) yesterday branded Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr.Peter Obi ,the defeated presidential candidates of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) respectively as sore losers.
It said Obi, in particular, would go down in history as Nigeria’s “most dangerous and divisive politician” on the strength of his conduct in the run up to last weekend’s election.
However,the Presidential Election Court (PEC) in Abuja yesterday granted permission to both Atiku and Obi to inspect materials used for the February 25 election while seven states which had gone to court seeking the invalidation of the victory of President-elect Bola Tinubu ,withdrew the case.
For the flag bearer of African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the election , Mr Dumebi Kachikwu, the victory of Tinubu stemmed from his consistency, preparation and opportunity.
”Tinubu, a dogged fighter with a mastery of the Nigerian political system took advantage of a disunited opposition some of whom were running purely on the divisive platforms of ethnicity and religion,”Kachikwu said.
The APC PCC,at a press conference in Abuja addressed by its Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Dele Alake,said while Atiku and Obi kept feeding Nigerians with lies,the LP candidate “elevated his well-known clannish mentality to a most unfortunate height by openly anchoring his campaign on religion and ethnicity. He presented himself as a poster boy for and a champion of our country’s fault lines.
“He took advantage of our youths whose expectations are fast paced, who are uninterested in excuses, and who were in search of a hero. He pumped up their sentiments and rode on their emotions while grandstanding as a saviour. It was a false pretense. Obi’s credentials are eternally stained as a former governor with no remarkable legacy.
“Not a few of our youths thought Peter Obi looked like the leader they wanted and many of them could not tolerate any form of scrutiny of their newfound hero. They chose willfully to canonise him while insisting no one should ask questions. The combination of the disgruntled youths, the ethnic champions, and commercial clerics were the reason Obi thought he could win a presidential election in Nigeria. Such illogic is not strange to the Labour Party.”
Continuing, he said: “Listening to both Atiku and Obi yesterday left us in the APC family confounded.
”We understand that there has been an orchestrated campaign by the acolytes of PDP and LP in the media to discredit the Presidential election. What we did not expect is that the two presidential candidates and, indeed, their political parties, would shamefully re-echo the puerile and unimaginative arguments that are being canvassed by political illiterates and mischief-makers who are crying wolf on social media.
”As we all can see, these two otherwise experienced politicians are pinpointing a lack of adherence to the guidelines as a basis for discrediting the votes lawfully cast by Nigerians. We shall examine the so-called process that was purportedly breached by the electoral body and how it, in their wild imagination, undermined the credibility of the election.
”Save for bad losers that these two people have proven to be, we should rather be celebrating the tremendous improvement the use of BVAS has brought to our electoral process.
He enjoined the defeated candidates to “ pursue their grievances with decorum.”
“ They should encourage their members, supporters, and ethnic and religious consultants to follow the path of the rule of law.
”We note that both Atiku and Obi are claiming victory, wouldn’t it make sense for them to agree on who the actual winner is before challenging APC in court? Meanwhile, the APC train has left the station as we continue our effort to make Nigeria better for all Nigerians.”
“Contrary to the false claims of Atiku and Obi, the reasons for losing the elections were foretold. Besides the delusional expectations created during the campaigns to hoodwink the public, most PDP leaders knew their party had been decimated by Mr. Peter Obi.
“The South East and South South that were traditional strongholds of PDP constituted the core support base for the Labour Party. PDP went into this election without its limbs and lied to itself that it could win the race.
“It is worthy of note that Atiku also accepted this fact during his press conference yesterday, when he lamented that his party’s votes in the South East and South South regions were carted away by the LP.
“The PDP also found itself in No.3 in Kano, with a former member, Kwankwaso running away with over 900,000 votes.
“How far could the PDP have gone with what was left of it? Not so far as the results of the elections have shown. The members of G5 were key leaders of the party who had substantial political influence. They also went away with their own pound of flesh, leaving a crippled PDP to scavenge for crumps of votes.”
Alake argued that contrary to claims in some quarters,transmission of election results by INEC was discretionary.
His words: “Section 38 of the Electoral Act 2022 referred to by the PDP and LP has nothing to do with the transmission of election results. Section 60, subsection 2 of the Act deals with the transmission of results and it is at the discretion of INEC. The Act does not contain any mandatory provision regarding the transmission of results.
”In any case, the process of transmitting results from polling units, whether real-time, two days later or at any time, cannot in any way change the results that have been announced right after the counting in the presence of the parties’ agents and to the hearing of the voters. It is, therefore, nonsensical to insinuate that time variation in uploading results would cause a change in the figures.”
Describing the February 25 Presidential election as a watershed that produced unprecedented outcomes and defied conventions, the campaign council noted that the deployment and use of BVAS was the only reason the elections produced these strange outcomes and upsets in many cases.
”The loss of Katsina and Lagos to PDP and LP respectively were contrary to expectations. BVAS brought the intended credibility to voters’ accreditation such that many governors and well-established politicians lost elections in what should be safe bet areas,”Alake said.
”The era of ghost-voting and stuffing of ballot boxes is gone. As the experience in the last governorship election in Osun State has shown, over-voting would automatically lead to outright cancellation of the results of the polling units based on the provision of the new Electoral Act.
”The same PDP that is trying to pull the wool across the face of Nigerians was the culprit in the Osun State governorship election. Did they try to do it this time and it failed? Or did they do it in the areas they unexpectedly won? Did they have a grand plan to hack the INEC server if results were uploaded in real-time? Nigerians will soon find out.”
The Director of Public Affairs and Chief Spokesperson of the APC PCC, Festus Keyamo (SAN) said separately that Tinubu has put together a strong legal team to defend his mandate at the election tribunal.
Keyamo also said that the APC would file a counter-petition at election tribunal to cancel some of the votes credited to the Labour Party in the Southeast.
He said:”We are happy they said they are going to court. We shall meet there. We are ready for them. We have formed our legal team of which I am a member.
”It may also interest you to know that some Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) have volunteered to join our legal team and we shall defend our victory.
“I put it on my tweeter page this morning that we too are going to court. We are filing a counter-petition to cancel some of the outrageous votes in the Southeast.”
The Presidential Election Court (PEC) in Abuja yesterday granted permission to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi to inspect materials used for the February 25 election.
A three-member panel, presided over by Justice Joseph Ikyegh, granted the permission as sought in two separate motions ex-parte filed by Atiku and Obi.
While Atiku filed his own on Wednesday,, Obi’s motion was filed on Thursday.
They both have the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), President-elect, Bola Tinubu and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) listed as respondents.
Adedamola Falokun , who appeared for Atiku, moved his motion, while Alex Ejesieme (SAN) moved Obi’s motion, which the court granted.
The court among others, ordered INEC to allow both applicants access to the materials used for the last presidential election.
It also directed INEC and its officials to allow them to inspect the materials on a day-to-day basis.
Sokoto, Adamawa and five other states have applied for the discontinuance of the suit they filed on February 28 before the Supreme Court.
The seven states’ decision to discontinue with the case was communicated to the apex court via a notice of discontinuance filed by one of their lawyers, Mike Ozekhome (SAN).
The notice, dated March 3 reads: “Take notice that the plaintiffs doth hereby, wholly discontinue this suit against the defendant herein.’
The plaintiffs were silent on the reason for their decision to discontinue with the case.
Other states, involved in the suit are Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Taraba.
The suit had the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) as the sole defendant
The states, in the suit , marked: SC/CV/354/2023 filed in the names of their Attorneys General, wanted the apex court to among others, direct “a wholistic review of all results so far announced by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which were carried out other than through the manner prescribed by the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, 2022; and the INEC Manual for Election Officials.”
They had prayed the court to declare “that the Federal Government of Nigeria the Independent National Electoral Commission was bound to electronically transmit or transfer Polling Unit Results in Form EC8A using BVAS by uploading Scanned Copy of the said Unit Result to the Independent National Electoral Commission Result Viewing Portal (IReV) in the course of the General Elections held on the 25th of February, 2023 throughout the Federation in compliance with the provision of Sections 25; 47(2); 60 (1), (2), (4) & (5); 62; 64(4)(a) & (b); 70; and 148 of the Electoral Act, 2022, governing the 2023 nationwide general elections, particularly paragraphs 38 of the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, 2022; and paragraphs 2.8.4; 2.9.0; and 2.9.1 of the INEC Manual for Election Officials, 2023, for the conduct of the Presidential Election.
The presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Mr Dumebi Kachikwu, yesterday accepted defeat in the election in the country and described the victory of President-Elect Tinubu as ‘well deserved.’
He said Tinubu’s win was “a clear case of consistency and preparation meets opportunity.”
“Asiwaju, a dogged fighter with a mastery of the Nigerian political system took advantage of a disunited opposition some of whom were running purely on the divisive platforms of ethnicity and religion.
“The distortions occasioned by the rigging done by the four so called leading parties were not significant enough to have altered the outcome of this election.
“The PDP and Labour Party candidates failed to show leadership when they refused to put aside petty differences to build a formidable opposition to take on a non-performing sitting government. They now seek to form an alliance of sore losers after defeat.”
Kachikwu also criticized a segment of the church for their role in the presidential election, saying: ”Asiwaju’s victory is a lesson to segments of the clergy who provided their places of worship as campaign platforms.
“We must separate thus saith the Lord from our biases and personal convictions. If they seek to clean up the political space, they must first look within. Most of those who lead us can be found there on Friday’s and Sunday’s.
“Are we a nation of sinners in search of a saint or a nation of the lost in search of a leader? Asiwaju’s victory answers this question.
“This election has been won and lost, Nigeria and Nigerians must now move forward. All hands must be on the deck in this onerous task of nation building. We remain Nigerians. God bless us all.”
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