Independence National Electoral Commission(INEC), has taken time to clear the air on whether Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), win the 2019 presidential election or not.
It is crystal clear that a lot of Nigerians where not satisfied with both the conduct and the outcome of the 2019 electoral process.
It is on this account that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has explained that there was no way Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election, could have won.
INEC said Atiku was not declared winner of the exercise because it was satisfied that the PDP candidate did not secure majority of lawful votes during the election.
The electoral body also denied the allegation that votes were illegally awarded to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to make its candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, win a second term in office.
Vanguard reports that INEC gave the explanation in its final written address it filed before the Justice Mohammed Garba-led five-member panel presidential tribunal. The report added that INEC’s team of lawyers led by Yunus Usman, asked the tribunal to dismiss the petitions by Atiku and the PDP over the victory of Buhari.
The electoral body insists that the petitioners failed to justify why a fresh election should be conducted.
INEC claimed that Atiku’s allegation that it unlawfully awarded votes to Buhari in some states ought to be proved beyond reasonable doubt since it is criminal in nature. “Clearly, it can be gleaned that nothing concrete or specific has been offered by the petitioners (Atiku and the PDP) in this regard.
“For example, the petitioners pleaded wrong and deliberate entry of wrong results by the first respondent in 11 states of the country, namely: Borno, Yobe, Bahchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger and Zamfara states.
“The most astonishing part is that the petitioners failed to call witnesses who were at the various units to observe these various alleged anomalies.
“We submit that allegations bordering on alleged wrong entry/falsification of election result are criminal in nature and must be proved beyond reasonable doubt,” INEC said.
INEC also said Atiku failed to show how the total cancelled votes across the country affected the election.
“We submit that it is trite law that not only is the petitioner duty-bound to prove each and every allegation on non-compliance; he is also expected to prove that such non-compliance substantially affected the result of the election.
“We humbly submit from the foregoing that the petitioners have failed to prove the allegation of non-compliance with the electoral act, and indeed every other allegation contained in the petition,” INEC said adding that the petitions lacked merits and should be thrown out.