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With what I’ve seen so far at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, #AtikuIsComing ~ Demola Olarewaju

by on July 23, 2019

The major substance of any electoral petition is that the election in question showed “substantial non-compliance” with the constitution and the Atiku petition matter with 62 witnesses, hundreds of written testimonies and over 50,000 documents has so far proven this.

At the commencement of the hearing of the matter, PDP agreed with the lawyers of the respondents (APC and INEC) to use ten days to call its witnesses – this process ended last Friday with some major facts established solidly at the PEPT on the matter of substantial non-compliance

The point about substantial non-compliance is key and I had mentioned this when the matter commenced – it comprises of two aspects: to first show that there were electoral irregularities, to then show that those irregularities were widespread enough to alter the electoral outcome.

PDP/Atiku have presented all the facts from key states where Buhari/APC votes were inflated and Atiku votes reduced – including the states where INEC announced high voting figures for Buhari especially Borno, Yobe, Kano and some others; the documents were all admitted as evidence.

Worthy of note is that the agreement between the lawyers to all parties was not only about the time to be spent in building a case but also on the admissibility of the evidence and APC/INEC lawyers agreed not to challenge those evidences at this stage – so everything got in.

The APC/INEC lawyers tried to oppose the submission of video evidence which highlighted not only the controversial issue of the INEC server but also instances of the breach of electoral laws – but the Judges pointed out that the agreement was clear and PDP presented it all.

Baba Buba Galadima was the first witness of the PDP while our Egbon, Osita Chidoka was the final witness: 62 called to testify and written testimony taken from hundreds more from across the country.

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With all I’ve seen, the PDP/Atiku case has been well made and solidly built.

PDP/Atiku will submit further evidence from INEC’s own records as we go on with this last stage of the electoral procedures – INEC only just complied with the Tribunal directive and presented crucial election documents just last week.

INEC also opens its defence today.

The documents so far submitted include mutilated result sheets from PU to State levels – showing clear manipulations of results in favour of Buhari, original results signed by all party agents that show that what INEC announced in some places were entirely fabricated.

Keep in mind: only two things are needed to invalidate an election: non-compliance with the electoral law, substantial enough to alter the general outcome.

INEC now has five days to defend the fraudulent result it announced for the February 23 Presidential election.

The Atiku/PDP legal team is led by Dr. Livy Uzoukwu who is a thorough and brilliant mind while Chris Uche has led the witness testimony process – a combination of intellectual depth and rigour with courtroom mastership.

And it’s not yet over until sometime in September.

Focus has mostly been on the matter of the INEC server and I’ve personally been quite happy to see APC/INEC engaged with that – the major issue however has been the key presentation of the PDP at PEPT:

the February 23 election didn’t comply substantially with the electoral law.

Ordinarily, the issue of a server should not be the public focus except for some reasons:

The INEC lawyer denied it in open court at the PEPT on two different occasions and it has kept APC/INEC busy, while PDP/Atiku have made the case solidly and forced INEC to admit its server.

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The fact that APC and INEC didn’t scream “ambush” last week shows that they’re not as brilliant as one would expect – that INEC owns a server for electoral purposes has been solidly established.

And I suspect they won’t use their 5 days this week without further admitting this.

Nobody expected INEC to absolutely deny ownership of a server and the denial was so ridiculous that Nigerians themselves without any prompting raised the alarm with evidence provided.

That this has become the dominant news is therefore not surprising but at PEPT, PDP was focused

Anyone who followed the PEPT proceedings carefully would notice that PDP only brought up the matter of the server on two days – during Segun Showunmi’s testimony and on the final day with someone from Kenya.

The man has now returned to his country please – PDP isn’t foolish.

APC lies spread through their usual channels have tried to distort everything at the PEPT but the focus of their lies has been mainly on the server.

Funnily, the 5 grounds of the petition are openly available in the petition document itself and all 5 have been proven adequately.

It’s amusing that any PDP person will spread news from well-known APC media channels – it’s a good thing they never understood what the major substance was and they’ve been going on and on about servers – the only thing needed from there is for INEC to admit it lied, now proven.

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INEC will have the next 5 days (which I doubt they will exhaust without admitting that they actually have a server) and APC will have its own 5 days to debunk facts that PDP has already established.

I suspect that APC won’t have enough time, especially if chasing shadows.

As an example: PDP showed that the schools Buhari claimed to have attended did not exist at the time he claimed he attended them.

APC will have not only to show that it won the election of February 23 but also show that the schools existed as at then and that Buhari attended.

And this is just one of about a dozen facts that PDP established already with witnesses, electoral documents and video evidence.

With all I’ve seen so far at the PEPT and what I know is yet to come, #AtikuIsComing is only a matter of Justice and will happen by November 13.

September is when the PEPT delivers a verdict and regardless of what it is, the matter will proceed to the Supreme Court which will then have 60 days to deliver a final verdict.

By calculation, that will be on November the 16th – at the latest.

We will stand even beyond then.


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