Presidential poll: Buhari replies Atiku, says he’s far more qualified

...Challenges him to produce his credentials

President Muhammadu Buhari has responded to allegations contained in the petition by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his party before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), sitting in Abuja.

Buhari, in a response filed on April 16, 2019 by a team of lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), faulted the claim by Atiku and the PDP that he lacked the requisite academic qualification to stand for election to the office of the President of Nigeria.

Buhari said he was far more qualified than Atiku and challenged Atiku to produce his academic credentials before the tribunal.

According to the President in his response, “The respondent avers that he is far more qualified, both constitutionally and educationally, to contest and occupy the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria than the 1st petitioner (Atiku) and that in terms of educational qualifications, trainings and courses attended, both within and outside Nigeria, he is head and shoulder above the 1st petitioner in terms of acquisition of knowledge, certificates, laurels, medals and experience.”

“Respondent states further that it is the 1st petitioner, who is not qualified to contest the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and challenges the educational credentials and certificates of the 1st petitioner.”

“1st petitioner is hereby given notice to produce and tender his educational certificates, indicating the schools attended by him, with dates”.l, he stated and faulted the entire petition filed by Atiku and his party, noting that they are more about pre-election issues, which the Court of Appeal, sitting as a tribunal lacked jurisdiction.”

He also argued that the petitioners told lies against themselves in the petition and made conflicting claims which the tribunal cannot grant.

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Buhari noted that while the petitioners claimed to have won the February 23, 2019 presidential election and also won elections in many states in the South-South and South-Eastern part of the country, they also urged the court to nullify the election and order a fresh presidential election.

He argued that by virtue of Section of 137 of the Electoral Act, petitioners cannot question the results of elections in states where they claim to have won and still retain themselves as petitioners.

The Present asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition on the grounds that the reliefs the petitioners sought by the petitioners are frivolous, adding that, “The entire reliefs are not justifiable, as the petitioners, who claim to have scored majority of lawful votes in substantial number of states, are also questioning their own return in those states.

“The petitioners cannot act as petitioners and respondents in the same petition”, the president stated in his response.”

Atiku and the PDP are challenging the declaration of Buhari as the winner of the February 23 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the Tribunal.

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