The presidential election tribunal has struck out the petition by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 general election, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the victory of incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari.
The decision was handed down by the five-man tribunal in Abuja on Wednesday in a judgement that lasted hours, affirming the election victory of Mr. Buhari, the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC).
The tribunal, led by Justice Mohammed Garba, held the view that the petitioners failed to prove their case, especially in respect to their claims that Mr. Buhari was not qualified to contest the election for not having the requisite educational qualification.
The tribunal expressed the view that it seemed as the rock on which the petitioners` case was built, but noted that the certificate of President Muhammadu Buhari with the Nigerian Military was higher than a secondary school certificate and therefore he was ‘eminently’ qualified to contest for the position of Nigeria’s President.
It was also of the view that Atiku and PDP failed to establish that the election was rigged in favour of Buhari and his APC party.
The tribunal said the petitioners failed to prove there were electoral malpractices in the election and that they also failed to establish that electoral officials were harassed and that any such harassment influenced the outcome of the election.
Atiku had claimed that results from INEC’s server showed he got more votes than Buhari.
However, the tribunal dismissed this claim too.
“It is my view that whatever results you claim to have gotten belong to a whistle-blower.
“It is possible to use scientific method to alter data on a website. Therefore, the petitioner relied on information from a third party (and) the evidence is unreliable because it is hearsay and inadmissible.”
“This petition is accordingly and hereby dismissed in its entirety,” Justice Garba said.
The parties are to bear their costs