The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday upheld the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 presidential election..
The tribunal dismissed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar’s petition for lack of merit.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Buhari who represented the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the election ,after polling 15,191, 847 votes while the PDP candidate garnered 11, 262, 978 votes.
The five-man panel led by Justice Muhammad Garba ruled on several petitions relating to the presidential election..
Other members of the panel are – Justice Abdul Aboki (Court of Appeal, Abuja), Justice Joseph Ikyegh (Court of Appeal, Benin), Samuel Oseji (Court of Appeal, Lagos) and Justice Peter Ige ( Court of Appeal, Abuja).
In one of its rulings, the panel dismissed an application filed by INEC seeking the disqualification of Atiku’s lead counsel, Livy Ozoukwu.
Justice Garba, who read the lead judgement, held that President Buhari ” is eminently qualified” to contest the 2019 presidential election.. Citing a previous Supreme Court judgment, he said: “Submission of educational certificate is not a requirement for qualification to contest election for governor under section 177 of the Constitution.
“It is established that a candidate is not required under the Electoral Act to attach his certificate to his Form CF001 before a candidate is adjudged to have the requisite qualification to contest the election.
“”Thus our conclusion is that Buhari is not only qualified but eminently qualified to contest the presidential election.”
The tribunal also dismissed the PDP claim on central server and electronic transmission of results.
The panel insisted that manual provided by INEC did not provide for electronic transmission of results.
Justice Garba added: “These claims cannot be countenanced because they lack worth. “Based on the available evidence, it is clear that the results were collated manually.
After resolving all the issues in favour of the respondents, the panel held that President was duly re-elected in the country’s last presidential election.