Political parties and groups on Wednesday reacted to the judgement of Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) which ruled in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Justice Garba Mohammed who read the unanimous judgment dismissed the petition filed by the Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his party.
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) in its reaction commended members of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) “for not being deterred by threats and intimidation from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its agents to taint its sense of justice.”
In a statement by signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke said the pronouncement of the justices was “proof that the Justices are men of honour that cannot be intimidated by social media bullies bent on arm-twisting them to ignore the evidence tabled before the tribunal.
“It was glaring to everyone, aside from PDP elements, that the petition challenging the overwhelming electoral victory of President Muhammadu Buhari was not only frivolous but also useless as Festus Keyamo famously said soon after the case was filed.
“However, the Tribunal has now further shown how ridiculous the electoral challenge was and made it clear that the President was duly qualified to contest in the February 23, 2019 election in the first place, on the basis of educational qualification and professional attainment.
“To quote the panel directly, it said President Buhari ‘is not only qualified but also eminently qualified’ to stand for election. This is a direct message to naysayers.
“And to make matters worse for the petitioners, the Tribunal questioned the sense in querying the President’s assertion that his certificates were with the Army even when the Army authorities alluded to it when the matter was brought up in 2015, and even went further to quote the President’s grades in the subjects he sat for.
“It is also worthy of note that the Justices were emphatic in brushing aside claims by the petitioners that results were transmitted through electronic means to a server at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”
The group advised Atiku Abubakar to take the judgment in good faith and refrain from proceeding to the Supreme Court.
“We acknowledge that it is within the right of the opposition to go to the Supreme Court but we hope that the former Vice President would see the handwriting on the wall and accept that he lost the election fair and square.”
In his reaction, national chairman of the United Progressives Party, UPP Chekwas Okorie equally “advised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to accept the outcome of the election in the spirit of sportsmanship. Unfortunately, they opted to proceed to the Tribunal with their petition against the election of President Buhari.
“True to our prediction, they have only succeeded in distracting the attention of the Nigerian people unnecessarily. We hope that their misadventure will be allowed to rest at this point, and save the nation of further distraction.”
In congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari, we urge him to accept his victory with the magnanimity of a forgiving father. He should remain focused on carrying out the onerous responsibilities of his office.
“The United Progressive Party and its leadership are committed to remain constructively engaged with the President until the successful completion of his second and final tenure as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”