The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the verdict of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which affirmed the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by Kola Ologbondiyan, its National Publicity Secretary, the PDP described the judgment as a “subversion of justice”, adding that it would challenge the judgment at the Supreme Court.
The five-man tribunal led by Justice Muhammad Garba had on Wednesday unanimously dismissed the appeal by the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, rejecting the petitioners’ appeal in its entirety.
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But according to the major opposition party, the judgment of the tribunal was “a direct assault on the integrity of our nation’s justice system”.
The PDP decried that the tribunal upheld the election despite the pieces of evidence it brought against the respondents – President Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It also accused the tribunal of acting as defendants for the respondents by providing instances on their behalf instead of interpreting the law based on the evidence brought before the justices.
The statement read: “The party is particularly shocked that the tribunal failed to point to justice despite the flawless evidence laid before it, showing that President Buhari was not only unqualified to contest the election but also did not score the majority of valid votes at the polls.
“The PDP finds as bewildering that a court of law could validate a clear case of perjury and declaration of false information in a sworn affidavit, as firmly established against President Muhammadu Buhari, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence.
“The party is also rudely shocked that the Court took over the roles of the Respondents’ lawyers who clearly abandoned their pleadings by refusing to call evidence in defense of the petition.”
The PDP also questioned the decision of the tribunal in declaring that President Buhari did not need to provide a certified true copy or a copy of his educational qualification, describing it as “strange”.
It also alleged that the five-man panel turned a blind eye to the massive illegalities that allegedly characterised the election, preventing Atiku from winning what should have been a free and fair election.
The party claimed that the tribunal’s verdict is “a direct indication that the judgment has not fulfilled the desires and expectations of Nigerians”.
It urged all its members and supporters to remain calm as it heads to the Supreme Court to appeal the judgment, saying it remained upbeat on obtaining justice at the apex court.