Live Updates: Presidential Election Tribunal Delivers Judgement On Atiku Vs Buhari

The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal is expected to deliver the final judgment on the 2019 Presidential election today, Wednesday, September 11, between President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, with the duo anticipating victory.

This was disclosed by the spokesperson of the Court of Appeal, Sa’adatu Musa, in a notice on Tuesday, September 10. Musa said the final judgment will be delivered by 9:00 am.

mNaija.com learnt that five judges from the Court of Appeal will deliver the final judgment on the 2019 Presidential election today, Wednesday.

Below is the complete list of judges to deliver the final judgment on the 2019 Presidential election.

  1. Justice Mohammed Garba (Head of the panel)
  2. Justice Abdul Aboki (Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal
  3. Justice Joseph Ikyegh (Benin Division of the Court of Appeal)
  4. Justice Samuel Oseji (Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal)
  5. Justice Peter Ige (Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal).

mNaija Live Updates on Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT):

Below is the summary of the judgment so far…
  1. The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal dismissed INEC’s claim that Atiku’s lead counsel, Livy Uzoukwu (SAN) is not a legal practitioner.
  2. The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal dismissed INEC’s claim that Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s Vice President should have been joined in the suit alongside President Buhari.
  3. The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal refused INEC’s request to strike out some of the witnesses of the PDP.
  4. The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal refused INEC’s request to dismiss Atiku’s prayer seeking President Buhari’s disqualification from the 2019 Presidential election.
  5. The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal struck out PDP’s argument that President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo used Federal government funds through TraderMoni to induce voters.
  6. The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal dismissed President Buhari’s contention that Atiku was not qualified to file the petition challenging his election.
  7. The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal dismissed PDP’s argument that security operatives rigged the 2019 Presidential election to favour President Buhari.
  8. The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal dismissed President Buhari’s response challenging Atiku’s motion on alleged none use of card readers.
  9. The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal dismissed PDP’s 

Live Update

Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger,  Yobe and Zamfara States.

The tribunal says the allegations levelled under issues 4 and 5 are criminal in nature and must be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

4.25 pm Issues 4 and 5 are now being resolved together.  The issues are whether or not the election was marred by corrupt practices and non-compliance with the provisions of Electoral Act.

4.23 pm: The tribunal says the petitioners failed to discharge the burden of proof that Buhari was not elected by a majority of lawful votes.

4: 21 pm: Issue 3 resolved against petitioners.

3.38 pm: “Card reader machine has not replaced the voter register. A petitioner must rely on the card reader to prove non-accreditation or overvoting,” says tribunal.

The tribunal rules that the evidence and report of PW59, witness 59 of the petitioners, cannot be relied on that there was indeed INEC server or servers, as the case may be, into which the results of the presidential election were transmitted.

3.36 pmIt is clear that the results were collated manually -Justice Garba

“The evidence of the five witnesses who claimed that the results were transmitted electronically has no bearing on the requirement of proof expected of the petitioners. It is like a drop in the ocean.

“Electronic voting or transmission of results have no statutory backing. The mode of voting and collation of results have not changed from being manual since 2015,” says tribunal.

Justice Garba recalls the 2015 judgments of the Supreme Court which held that card readers were only recognised for use to authenticate the owner of the voter card.

3.21 pm: This issue is also about whether election results were electronically transmitted. The tribunal holds that the manual provided by INEC did not provide for electronic transmission of results.

3.00 pm: The tribunal considers Issue 3, which is whether or not Buhari was elected by a majority of lawful votes cast on February 23, 2019 election.

2.58 pm: Justice Garba says, “I have no doubt in my mind that the petitioners have failed to prove that the second respondent does not possess the qualification to contest the election into the office of the President as stipulated in section 131, 137, 138 of the Constitution. I am also of the firm view that the petitioners have failed to prove that the second respondent submitted false information which is fundamental in nature to aid his qualification to contest the election into the Office of the President as prescribed in section 35(1) of the Evidence Act, 2011.”

“I come to the conclusion and I resolve issues 1 and 2 against the petitioners,” he states.

2.53 pm: Justice Mohammed Garba of the presidential tribunal says, “The onus rests squarely on the petitioners to prove their assertion that the 2nd respondent does not possess the educational qualification to contest the election or that he submitted false information which is fundamental in nature to aid his qualification. This I have mentioned that the petitioners failed to prove. The petitioners cannot, therefore, rely on any failure in the case.”

2.37 pm: Buhari is not only qualified but eminently qualified to contest the presidential election, says Tribunal.

Buhari would have been qualified by mere showing that he had primary school education. The tribunal says the courses attended by Buhari are higher than secondary school education. Exhibits 21 and 24 tendered by the petitioners showed that Buhari had WASC.

The petitioners have failed to discharge the burden of proof of the allegation of non-qualification or submission of false information which is fundamental in the aid of the 2nd respondent’s qualification, the tribunal declares.

2.21 pm: Tribunal notes that Buhari’s witnesses confirmed that Buhari had secondary school education.

“In effect, the 2nd defendant went through secondary education and then proceeded to military school. The military school is higher than secondary education,” says the tribunal.

2. 16 pm: Tribunal says 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.

Citing a previous Supreme Court judgment, the tribunal says, “Submission of educational certificate is not a requirement for qualification to contest election for governor under section 177 Constitution.”

2.08 pm: Buhari says he completed primary education in 1952, secondary education in 1961. PDP says no proof was presented in court.

2.01 pm: Ex-Borno State Governor and former National Chairman of PDP, Ali Modu Sheriff, walks into the courtroom. He is now a member of the APC.

1.56 pm: The tribunal to resolve Issues 1 and 2 now. Issue 1 dwells on whether Buhari possessed the requisite educational qualification to contest the February 23 presidential election.

The second issue is whether Buhari gave false information (about his educational certificate) in an affidavit submitted to INEC which was fundamental in nature to aid his qualification to contest the election.

Both issues are to be resolved together by the tribunal.

1.50 pm: The tribunal adopts the issues as raised by the petitioners. The tribunal is to deal with the issues in the order as raised by the petitioners’ lead counsel, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN).

1.49 pm: INEC raised four issues for determination, Buhari three, APC raised six issues while the petitioners (Atiku, PDP) raised five issues.

1.41 pm: Justice Mohammed Garba delivering the lead judgment.

1.40 pm: Tribunal resumes sitting.

12.58 pm: The tribunal proceeds on a short break.

12.55 pm: The PEPT has struck out the argument by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) Atiku Abubakar was not qualified to contest the last presidential election because he is allegedly not a Nigerian by birth.

In its 6th ruling on Wednesday, the court said its power does not include determining the qualification of a petitioner in an election dispute.

11.49 am: The tribunal also struck out the Preliminary Objection of President Buhari seeking to expunge the paragraph of the petition which questioned the qualifications of the president to contest the election.

11.46 am: The tribunal also dismissed the contention by President Muhammadu Buhari that Atiku Abubakar did not qualify to file the petition as such it should be dismissed.

The court held that having participated in the election Atiku is competence to file a petition.

11.45 am: The tribunal strikes out Osita Chidoka’s testimony.

Mr Chidoka is the star witness for the petitioner, Atiku Abubakar.

10.30 am: The tribunal unanimously dismisses INEC’s motion

9.40 am: Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN) announces appearance for Buhari’s legal team. He takes the place of Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), who is absent at the proceedings.

9.36 am The parties take appearances after which the chairman of the tribunal will deliver the ruling.

9.29 am The panel of the tribunal arrived for the final time in this petition.

The five-man panel include the Chairman, Justice Mohammed Garba. Others include Justice Peter Olabisi-Ige, Justice Abdul Aboki, Justice Joseph Ikyegh and Justice Samuel Oseji.

The panel is led by Justice Mohammed Garba.

9.09 am: Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus arrives in the courtroom. He also went around and exchanged pleasantries with lawyers defending the PDP in the petition.

8.46 am: Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong arrives the courtroom.

8.23 am: The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari who was also a witness for the president at the tribunal arrives the courtroom.

 

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