Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal that he beat President Muhammadu Buhari by over 200,000 votes in the 2019 presidential election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Buhari the winner of the February 23 election with 15,191,847 votes, an astonishing victory margin of 3,928,869 votes over Atiku, his closest challenger, who ended the polls with 11,262,978 votes.
However, in his final written address before the tribunal where he lodged a complaint weeks after the election, Atiku said he actually beat Buhari with a margin of 222,332 votes.
According to the address which will be adopted on April 21, Atiku said he was robbed of victory through wrongful computation of results in 11 states namely Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Yobe, and Zamfara.
In the address filed by his counsel, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), according to a report by The Punch, Atiku and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said authentic election results were tampered with for Buhari’s victory.
He said contrary to INEC’s official results, he actually scored a total of 9,426,082 votes while Buhari scored 9,203,750.
“It is submitted that when the votes credited to the parties on account of various errors listed in paragraph 4.54(a) (f) and (a) (d), respectively, above are deducted from the results declared in the 11 focal states, the under listed figures now represent the overall lawful votes cast in the presidential election held on February 23, 2019 across Nigeria:
“Election result: PDP – 11,262,978; APC – 15,191,847.
“Void votes: PDP – 1,836,896; APC – 5,988,097.
“New result: PDP – 9,426,082; APC – 9,203,750.”
Atiku, who was vice president between 1999 and 2007, called on the Justice Mohammed Garba-led five-member tribunal to nullify Buhari’s victory and declare him the winner of the election.
When he initially filed his petition in March, Atiku claimed that he actually won the election with 1.6 million more votes than Buhari according to an internal compilation of results he claimed was obtained from INEC’s server.
He claimed he scored 18,356,732 votes while Buhari scored 16,741,430 votes.
INEC has vehemently denied the existence of the server result, noting that electronic transmission of results is unknown to the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). The commission accused Atiku and the PDP of producing fake election results.
The petitioners also argued before the tribunal that Buhari was not qualified to contest the election, accusing him of presenting fake credentials to INEC.
“The case is that the 2nd respondent did not possess the certificates relating to the qualifications, which he claimed in his Form CF001,”
The petitioners said.
Buhari closed defence of his case before the tribunal on August 1 after calling only seven witnesses.
Atiku and the PDP called a total of 62 witnesses while INEC and the APC, also respondents in the case, failed to call any witnesses.
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Author: Yusuf Olowo