Some details of the petition filed on Monday by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate in the February 23 election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress, emerged on Tuesday.
The petition, which sought to rely on 50 sets of documents, was filed before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja against the Independent National Electoral Commission, Buhari and the APC as the first to the third respondents, respectively.
INEC had on February 27, 2019 declared that Buhari won the election with 15,191,847 votes to defeat Atiku, whom it said polled 11,262,978 votes.
But the petitioners stated in their 139-page petition that “from the data in the 1st respondent’s (INEC’s) server…the true, actual and correct results” from “state to state computation” showed that Atiku polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari whom they said scored 16,741,430 votes.
They said the results were the total votes scored by the candidates in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, as there was “no report on sever” about the results from Rivers State as of February 25, 2019.
By this, Atiku claims to have defeated Buhari with 1,615,302 votes.
One of the five grounds of the petition also tends to resuscitate the allegation that Buhari was not qualified to run for the office of the President on the grounds that he did not possess the constitutional minimum qualification of a school certificate.
The five grounds of the petition read, “The 2nd respondent (Buhari) was not duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast at the election.
“The election of the 2nd respondent is invalid by reason of corrupt practices.
“The election of the 2nd Respondent is invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).
“The 2nd respondent was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the said election.
“The 2nd respondent submitted to the 1st Respondent an affidavit containing false information of a fundamental nature in aid of his qualification for the said election.”
Arguing that Buhari was not qualified to run for the office of the President, the petitioners argued in part, “The petitioners state that the 2nd respondent (Buhari) does not possess the educational qualification to contest the election to the office of the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The petitioners state that by Section 31 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), every political party shall not later than 60 days before the date appointed for a general election submit to the Commission in the prescribed form the list of the candidates the party proposes to sponsor at the elections.
“Further, by Section 31(2) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), the list or information submitted by each candidate shall be accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by the candidate at the Federal High Court, High Court of a State or Federal Capital Territory indicating that he has fulfilled all the constitutional requirements for election into that office.
“The 2nd respondent filled and submitted Form CF001 to the 1st Respondent, which was declared before the Commissioner for Oaths at the Registry of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on the 8th day of October, 2018. The said Form CF001 is accompanied by an ACKNOWLEDGEMENT indicating that the 1st Respondent received same.
“The petitioners aver that the said Form CF001 filled by the 2nd Respondent and submitted to the 1st Respondent for the Office of President was also accompanied by the Curriculum Vitae of the 2nd Respondent as well as GENERAL FORM OF AFFIDAVIT duly sworn to by the 2nd respondent at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, along with copies of his Membership Card of the 3rd Respondent and Voter Card.
“The information submitted to the 1st respondent (INEC) by the 2nd respondent (Buhari) is false and of a fundamental nature in aid of his education qualification, notwithstanding that he had declared in the said sworn affidavit as follows: ‘I hereby declare that all the answers, facts and particulars I have given in this Form, are true and correct and I have to the best of my knowledge, fulfilled all the requirements for qualifications for the office I am seeking to be elected’.”
They stated that the educational institutions Buhari “claimed to have attended and the certificates presented by him namely, Elementary School Daura and Mai Aduaa between 1948 and 1952, Middle School Katsina between 1953 and 1956 and Katsina Provincial College (now Government College, Katsina) between 1956 to 1961 and mentioned by the 2nd respondent in his curriculum vitae attached to Form CF 001, were not in existence as of those mentioned dates.”
They added, “The 2nd respondent in Form CF 001 filled and submitted by him to the 1st Respondent at Paragraph C, Column 2, Page 3, under SECONDARY, wrote “WASC,” thereby falsely claiming that qualification whereas there was no qualification known as WASC as of 1961.
“The petitioners contend that the 2nd Respondent was, at the material time, not qualified to contest election for the exalted office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The petitioners further aver that all votes purportedly cast for the 2nd and 3rd Respondents on 23rd February, 2019 during the Presidential Election and as subsequently declared by the 1st Respondent on February 27, 2019 are wasted votes in that the 2nd Respondent was not qualified to contest the said election in the first place or at all.”
Names of 21 Senior Advocates of Nigeria and 18 other lawyers appeared on the petition.
The legal team is led by Mr Livy Uzoukwu (SAN).
They sought among their five main prayers, that the tribunal should determine that Buhari “was not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes cast in the said election” and therefore his declaration and return by INEC “as the President of Nigeria is unlawful, undue, null, void and of no effect”.
They also prayed that Atiku having been “duly and validly elected” ought to be “returned as President of Nigeria, having polled the highest number of lawful votes cast at the election to the office of the President of Nigeria held on February 23, 2019 and having satisfied the constitutional requirements for the said election.
They sought “an order directing the 1st respondent (INEC) to issue a Certificate of Return to the 1st petitioner (Atiku) as the duly elected President of Nigeria”.
They also asked the tribunal to rule that Buhari “was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the said election”, and that he “submitted to the Commission affidavit containing false information of a fundamental nature in aid of his qualification for the said election”.
However, they sought as their alternative prayer, “that the election to the office of the President of Nigeria held on February 23, 2019 be nullified and a fresh election ordered.”
The petitioners are relying on 50 sets of documents which they, in the petition, gave INEC the notice to produce the original copies of those in its custody.
Some of the documents are, “INEC Nomination Form CF001 of the 2nd respondent (Buhari); all INEC result sheets;(Form EC8 Series), EC8A, EC8B, EC8C, EC8D and EC8E – Certificate of Return; PDP Party Membership Cards; INEC Voter Cards; all witnesses’ party membership cards; and all Witnesses’ Voter Cards.”
The petitioners also sought to rely on, “the circulars/corrigenda/manuals issued by INEC for the conduct of the Presidential Election held on 23/2/2019; Polling Unit materials checklist; summary of total registered voters on units’ basis; summary of PVCs collected on units’ basis; Voter Registers and letters of complaints over irregularities and malpractices during the election addressed to the INEC/Police/other relevant agencies/institutions.”
They also sought to rely on “security reports relating to the election video/audio recordings/DVD/CD relating to the Election; Election Observers’ or Observers’ Reports; Newspaper/Television/ Radio reports and news; appointment letters and tags of PDP agents; expert reports and analysis; and photographs and GSM and other phone outputs”.
No Man Can Stop Me From Returning As Edo Governor — Obaseki Boasts
Governor Godwin Obaseki has confidently declared that he will emerge governor of Edo State, ahead of the governorship election in the State.
Obaseki who spoke as a guest on a Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, expressed confidence that he will return as the governor of the State.
According to him, no one can stop him because only God gives power.
“I am not a violent person. But I am confident that the way I got into power is the same way I will return.
“God gave me power. If he wants me to return, I will continue. No man can stop me. Power comes from God.”
The governor also rubbished claims that he used the resources of the people of Edo State to become governor.
“I have friends with resources. I worked for eight years behind the scene before I became governor.
“So all that insinuations about using somebody’s resources is not true. I became Governor on the platform of the party and I am grateful for it.
“It does not matter whether it is direct or indirect (primaries), I will win.”
Obaseki’s statement is coming shorty after Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu was endorsed as the consensus candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Recall that Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a former Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG) emerged as the All Progressives Congress (APC) consensus candidate for the state governorship election.
Ize-Iyamu is believed to be loyal to the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who has been at loggerheads with Governor Obaseki.
How I Spent N38.8bn Security Votes In 8 Years — Ex-Abia Gov, TA Orji
A former Governor of Abia State, Senator Theodore Ahamefula Orji has furnished the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with details of how he spent his N38.8billion security votes during his eight years in office.
Orji who was in charge of the state between 2007 and 2015 is being investigated by the anti-graft commission for corruption.
He said he collected N38.8billion as security votes during the period and not N48billion as alleged by the EFCC.
Orji who is currently representing Abia Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly said he shared much of the N38billion with members of the state House of Assembly, his security informants and traditional rulers.
He claimed to have also given part of the money to military units,the police,the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and security agencies as what he called statutory allocations.
In a tell-it-all statement to his interrogators, the former governor said he gave successive members of the State House of Assembly N5. 760billion, at N60million per month, in the eight years.
He also claimed to have paid N75million monthly to security informants in 15 of the 17 local government areas of the state within the same period.
The yet-to-be identified informants allegedly pocketed a total of N7.200billion between 2007 and 2015.
Some of the security agencies, according to him, received N2million per month.
However, he told the interrogators that he does not have a comprehensive list of all the beneficiaries of the largesse because the Government House staff who used to disburse the cash is no more.
He gave the man’s name simply as Felix.
Orji said he did not ask for the list from Felix at the expiration of his tenure as governor.
He only issued directives to Felix on how to share the security votes.
He also said he never collected cash either from the Director of Finance or the Cashier in Government House.
The EFCC insists that Orji collected N48billion in eight years.
It has retrieved five huge bags of documents from the relevant desks in Abia State on the ex-governor’s financial transactions.
Based on Orji’s confessions, the EFCC is expected to arraign him in court soon being in what a source described as “a straightforward case.”
The Nation gathered that the former governor made the revelations during a session on oath in the presence of his lawyer, who he referred to as Edmund.
It was the first time Orji would open up after many years of trying to make him respond to allegations against him.
Orji said he received N370million monthly as security votes in 2007 and N410million monthly from 2008 to 2015.
He said that from his assumption of office up to his exit the funds were distributed in cash. “There were also statutory funds to the security agencies,” he was quoted as saying.
He said the first Speaker in 2007 and the last Speaker in his second term confirmed the receipt of N60million monthly from his security votes.
He said the Majority Leader also attested to the receipt of the monthly cash although he claimed he did not know “ how they shared the money.”
He could not explain what the monthly cash to the lawmakers was meant for or remember the exact amount he was giving the traditional rulers monthly.
Orji admitted that all disbursements by the late Felix were based on his directives.
Usually, according to him, the funds were brought by the Director of Finance (DF)in batches.
The DF would then inform the ex-governor on how much had come and would then be kept in the accounts.
Orji would, in turn, issue directive to the late Felix on what to disburse and to whom.
He was quoted as saying “Felix comes to show me how disbursement is made. After disbursement, Felix keeps the list for safety. As I was leaving the Government House, I didn’t ask him for the list.”
He claimed that he never personally collected any cash from the votes whether from the Director of Finance or Government House cashier.
The funds were channelled through Felix “on my directives,” he said.
The EFCC is still working on the charges against Orji.
But a reliable source told The Nation that investigation had “reached an appreciable stage for trial.”
Continuing, the source said: “We have been on this case since March 2017. Our operatives were painstaking in cracking this case.
“We will arraign ex-governor in court any time from now because the charges are ready. The only challenge is COVID-19 but we won’t allow it to affect the arraignment.
“In the face of the law, he is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the court. The onus is on him to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he did not commit the financial recklessness.”
The source said the use of security votes was the first leg of the ongoing probe of Senator Theodore Orji.
The former governor has been under investigation since November 22, 2018 following a petition from a group, Fight Corruption: Save Nigeria Group
In the March 17, 2017 petition, the group alleged that Orji received and diverted various sums of monies that accrued to Abia State while in office.
The breakdown of the amounts allegedly received by him are as follows:
- N383 billion revenue from federation accounts
- N55 billion Excess Crude Revenue
- N2.3 billion Sure – P
- N1.8 billion Ecological funds
- N10.5 billion loan from First Bank of Nigeria through the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Local Government Affairs.
- N4 billion Loan from Diamond Bank
- N12 billion Paris Club refund
- N2 billion Agricultural loan for farmers
- N55 billion ASOPADEC.
Court Orders Atiku To Pay Trader N5 MILLION For Using Her Photo For Advert
A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and his Campaign Director, Dr Bukola Saraki, to pay N5million in damages to a Lagos trader, Amuda Adeleke, for unauthorised use of her photo on their campaign billboard.
In a suit marked FHC/L/CS/19, Adeleke had told the court that the defendants used her photograph on their campaign billboard without her consent.
Justice Ayokunle Faji, however awarded N5 million to the trader, to be jointly paid by Atiku, Saraki, the PDP and Peter Obi, who was Atiku’s running mate in the poll, The Nation reports.
The trader said this caused her embarrassment and she prayed the court to award N45m against the defendants for infringing on her fundamental right to privacy as enshrined, in the 1999 Constitution.
But after entering judgment in her favour, Justice Faji awarded N5m against the defendants.
In the suit, Adeleke explained that in December 2018, during the build-up to the 2019 general elections, agents of the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation, led by Saraki, came to Oyin Jolayemi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos to campaign for Atiku and his running mate, Obi.
She said Saraki and his team engaged people on the street, including herself.
Adeleke said she saw members of the campaign train taking photographs during the engagement with the crowd and she thought it was merely to preserve the memory of the event.
- Inside Nigeria7 days ago
BREAKING: No Moon Sighted, Fasting Continues Tomorrow — NSCIA
- Biafra News6 days ago
Biafra: Nnamdi Kanu Threatens To Excommunicate Saboteurs From IPOB
- Top Story6 days ago
‘In America, We Need More Prayer’ — Trump Orders Places Of Worship Reopen Immediately
- Entertainment6 days ago
Nollywood Actress, Emilia Dike, Slumps And Dies In Enugu
- News4 days ago
Southeast Governors, Inspector-General Clash Over Community Policing Plan
- Metro6 days ago
I Killed My Brother Because He Was Our Father’s Favorite — Murder Suspect
- Gist7 days ago
Nigerian Men Are In High Demand Abroad — Lady Says
- Biafra News6 days ago
War In IPOB Leader Nnamdi Kanu’s Community