The petition filed by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has been struck out.
Naija News understands that Atiku had filed the petition to contend the declaration of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the February 25, 2023 presidential election.
Atiku had asked the tribunal to declare him as the winner of the presidential election.
However, on Wednesday his move to emerge president suffered another setback.
The head of the five-member bench, Haruna Tsammani on Wednesday while giving reason for striking out the petition, said that for a petitioner to successfully prove non-compliance with the Electoral Act, the petitioner must call witnesses to prove the acts of non-compliance and show that the acts affected the outcome of the election, says Mr Tsammani.
He said Atiku failed to call any of his polling unit agents who signed the polling unit results and witnessed what took place in their domains.
He said the few agents called by the petitioner were state and national agents.
The tribunal struck out several paragraphs of the petition he relied upon to push for Tinubu’s removal.
Also, several exhibits, including witnesses’ statements he tendered to establish his allegations of irregularities, and malpractices against the February 25 presidential election were rejected and dis-countenanced by the Tribunal.
Atiku was said to have failed and neglected to name places where ballot boxes were snatched, the ways and manners the BVAS machine were manipulated and names of polling boots where alleged malpractices took place.
The former vice president, who claimed to have polled the majority of lawful votes, was said to have failed to state in clear terms, the total lawful votes he claimed to have scored.
The Court held that Atiku alleged that Tinubu did not score the majority of lawful votes but refused to make the perceived lawful votes known in his petition to the Tribunal.
Similarly, the Tribunal said that the former Vice President made grievous allegations against Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello and Chairman of Olamaboro Local Government of Kogi, Friday Adejoh but neglected to join them as respondents in the petition.
The Judge held that failure to join the Governor, who was accused of electoral fraud, was fatal to the petition because the Governor was denied the opportunity to defend himself as required by law.
The Tribunal dismissed the allegations of overvoting all over Nigeria by the petitioner, adding that such pleadings run foul of the law because the specific places where the alleged overvoting took place were not mentioned.
Atiku’s petition was also faulted on the ground that it introduced several facts and allegations in unlawful ways that caught the respondents unaware, adding that the tactic employed was unfair and made him clever by half.
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