▪ Buhari qualified to contest election
▪ No evidence INEC had server
Nigerians eagerly awaited the final whistle in the judgment being dellivered at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja after a series of decisions that may not matter until it rules whether President Muhammadu Buhari was validly elected or former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s petition succeeds against the election.
With the final whistle at 4.52 p.m., President Muhammadu Buhari carried the day With a declaration by Justice Mohammed Garba, and concurred to by other justices on the bench with him. (One of the judges was still giving a brief of his concurrence at press time at 5.18 p.m.).
The judgment is likely going up to the apex court of the land, the Supreme Court, which ruling will be incontestible.
The tribunal went on recess from delivering the seven hours and about 22 minutes judgmemt which is being carried live on most of the country’s television networks.
The social media has also been agog with posts from online media outfits as well as other sources, giving snippets of decisions of the tribunal.
Summarily, the Tribunal held that President Muhammadu Buhari is qualified to contest the 2019 presidential election with or without attaching his educational qualification.
The Tribunal says the courses attended by the President are higher than 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.
Tribunal ruled 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.
Other rulings are:
▪ Tribunal 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.
▪It struck out the petition of Atiku Abubakar that the Federal Government’s TraderMoni social investment programme was a vote-buying strategy.
▪ INEC objections to petition dismissed. Tribunal says petition competent even without Vice president joined by the petitioners.
▪ Tribunal ruled that Atiku has power to query the qualification of Buhari to stand for election as he did in the petition.
▪ Tribunal says Atiku’s lead lawyer authentic and all processes on behalf of Atiku authenticated. Dismissed another motion by INEC.
▪ Tribunal struck out Atiku’s allegations of criminal conducts against military men who were not joined in the petition.
▪ Tribunal held me petition competent and valid in law for determination.
▪ Tribunal declared that there is no evidence that INEC transmitted the results of the last presidential election electronically to any server.
It held that PDP and Atiku failed to prove the existence of an INEC server or INEC electronically transmitted results
▪ The tribunal maintained that there is no law in place in Nigeria that allows electronic transmission of results or the transmission of result using card reader.
Said Garba: “I have carefully examined and examined Exhibit 28 (INEC Manual for Election) tendered by the petitioners, I did not see where there is provision for electronic transmission of result of election.”