Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) nominee, has lost every election since 1993, according to the President-elect Bola Tinubu.
Asserting that it would have taken a miracle for the PDP and its candidate to win in light of the crises roiling the party prior to and throughout the polls, Tinubu urged Atiku to not consider his defeat in the most recent election as unusual.
These comments were made by the President-elect in response to a petition Atiku and the PDP submitted to the Presidential Election Petition Court, asking to be proclaimed the winner or for the court to order a second round of voting.
He noted that Atiku was without a stable political platform and has lost majority of his key supporters, in view of his habit of jumping from one political party to another.
Tinubu equally said that Atiku’s emergence as PDP’s candidate fueled the crisis in the party, resulting in five of its sitting governors resolving to work against him and ensure he lost.
The President-Elect’s legal team, led by Wole Olanipekun, submitted a response on his behalf.
In addition to being frivolous, the petition, according to Tinubu, abused the legal system.
He claimed that because the PDP had previously requested the cancellation of the election through some of its governors in a Supreme Court lawsuit, it was not possible to simultaneously pursue two legal actions on the same matter in two distinct courts.
He said that on February 28, the PDP filed a lawsuit before the Supreme Court, through the governors of the states of Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, and Sokoto, requesting, among other things, the cancellation of the presidential election scheduled for February 25.
He also faulted the competence of the petition on the grounds that Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) were excluded despite the fact that the petitioners were contesting the results from the states won by the LP and NNPP.
The petitioners complained about outcome of the election in Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Kano, Plateau and Lagos states, and Tinubu was not declared as the overall winner in any of the these states.
The response stated that Tinubu cannot be made to defend an infraction allegedly committed in any of the states afore-mentioned.
The response from Tinubu’s team ended with a query on Atiku’s petition on the result of elections in all the states where he, Obi won the election, including but not limited to Adamawa, Bauchi, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Gombe, Yobe, Sokoto, Osun, Kebbi and Katsina states, without making themselves co-respondents to the petition; whereas, under Section 133(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022, “a party whose election is being challenged shall be made a respondent.”