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DRAMA: Why Atiku, Tinubu Are Not Qualified To Be President – PDP Witness Tells Court


DRAMA: Why Atiku, Tinubu Are Not Qualified To Be President – PDP Witness Tells Court

A drama played out in court on Monday as a witness of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, that neither his party’s presidential candidate in the February 25, 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar nor Bola Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress (APC), are qualified to be declared winner of the election and declared president as they failed to meet the required 25%votes from the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.


The PDP’s witness who is also the Chairman of the Party in the FCT, Alhaji Mohammed Madaki, told the court that going by “purported results” of the presidential election that was published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),  Atiku Abubakar and Tinubu, failed to secure the constitutionally mandatory 25% votes from the FCT, Abuja.


While being cross-examined by counsel to the INEC, Mr. Abdullahi Aliu, the FCT PDP Chairman, told the court that the law made it mandatory that for a candidate to be declared winner of a presidential election, such candidate must score 25% of votes in FCT.

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Asked if he was aware that going by his position on 25% votes in the FCT, his candidate, Atiku, was not qualified to be declared winner of the presidential election, the witness, said: “Yes, by the purported result published by INEC, he is not entitled to be returned as President.”


He told the court that the normal practice was that copies of the presidential election are snapped at polling units and uploaded to INEC’s I-Rev portal.


Madaki told the court that PDP had agents across all the polling units, adding that agents of the party also signed result of the presidential election from the FCT.


While being cross-examined by President Bola Tinubu’s lawyer, Chief Akin Olujinmi, SAN, the witness, told the court that there were a total of 2, 822 polling units in the FCT.


Also responding to questions from counsel for the All Progressives Congress, APC, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, the witness said he has lived in the FCT for over 35 years.


He told the court that he personally wrote his witness statement on oath at a business center and took the same to his lawyer for examination.

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When he was presented with a document to read before the court, the witness, said he could not see the letters without his reading glasses which he said broke Sunday night.


Asked to tell the court the meaning of “conscientiously” that was contained in his statement, the witness, replied: “Honestly, I cannot remember.”


When he was asked if he was aware that there are a total of 176, 606 polling units across Nigeria, the witness, said he was not aware.


Shortly after Alhaji Madaki was discharged by the court, the ninth witness, PW-9, Mr. Abraham David, who mounted the box, told the court that he served as an agent of the PDP in the FCT, during the election.


The PW-9, told the court that Atiku, being the presidential candidate of his party, scored only 15% of votes in the FCT.


Asked under cross-examination, if he was aware that Atiku did not secure up to 25% votes in the FCT and therefore, going by argument of his party, not qualified to be returned as winner of the presidential poll, Mr. David, said: “I agree that having not score 25%, he is not entitled to be returned as President. Even Tinubu too did not also score 25%.

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“If it was not wrong to return Tinubu who did not score 25%, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar can also be returned. The person that was returned by INEC did not score 25% in the FCT,” the witness insisted.


He told the court that he visited about 15 polling units in the FCT during the presidential election, saying though he witnessed the collation process, results, were however not transmitted to INEC I-Rev as required by the law.


The witness told the court that the collation of the presidential result in the FCT took about three days, alleging that INEC officials compromised the electoral process.


Asked to mention the names of INEC officials that were involved in the alleged electoral malpractice, the witness said he did not know their names.

The court adjourned further hearing till Tuesday, June 6.

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