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Atiku vs INEC: The figures PDP is relying on to challenge Buhari’s victory

FORMER Vice President Abubakar Atiku, together with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has asked the presidential election tribunal, sitting at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, to declare him the winner of the 2019 presidential election held on February 23.

This was contained in the petition dated March 18 and signed by 31 lawyers, 19 of which are Senior Advocates of Nigeria, on behalf of the first and second petitioners, Atiku and the PDP respectively.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), President Muhammadu Buhari, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) were listed in the petition as the first, second and third respondents respectively

To support their claim, Atiku and the PDP are relying on figures it purportedly obtained from the “server” of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and which, according to the petitioners, showed that Atiku actually polled the highest number of votes in the presidential election.

SUMMARY OF ALLEGATION

Atiku and the PDP allege that Buhari “was not duly elected by a majority of the lawful votes cast at the presidential election and did not score one-quarter of the lawful votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”

They also claim that INEC “wrongly and unlawfully credited the 2nd Respondent (Buhari) with votes which were not valid or lawful votes at various stages of the election, namely, at the polling units, the ward collating centres, local government collating centres and the State collating centres”.

The petitioners said they would rely on evidence obtained from electronic video recordings, newspaper reports, photographs and photographic images, statisticians, forensic examiners and finger-print experts to prove that the results of the election as announced by INEC, and that the votes credited to Buhari do not represent the lawful valid votes cast.

“Lawful votes were deducted from the 1st Petitioner’s (Atiku) scores by the 1st Respondent (INEC) in order to return the 2nd Respondent (Buhari),” the petition read in part.

THE FIGURES

Atiku and the PDP, in the petition, claim that former Vice President’s total vote, according to figures obtained from INEC’s server, was 18,356,732, as against the 11,262,978, announced for him.

On the other hand, the PDP said that Buhari’s actual score in the election was 16,741,430, higher than the 15,191,847, with which INEC declared him the winner of the election.

Similarly, the petitioners allege that while INEC total number of accredited voters as 29,394,209, figures obtained from the commission’s server show that the actual number was 35,098,162.

However, a simple calculation by The ICIR shows that there may be something wrong with the above figure.

When one adds 18,356,732 and 16,741,430, which is the total number of votes scored by the PDP and the APC respectively, according to the petition, the total is 35,098,162, which the PDP claims is the total number of accredited voters, according to its figures it got from “INEC’s server”.

This means that the figure being bandied by the PDP as the total number of accredited voters does not include the votes scored by the other candidates that took part in the election.

STATE BY STATE FIGURES

The PDP, in their petition, included the total number of votes they purportedly got from the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory, all of which did not tally with the figures announced by INEC during the presidential collation exercise.

For instance, Atiku claims to have polled more than one million votes in Lagos State and almost one million votes in Kaduna. See the table below:

The total number of votes which the PDP claimed was the actual votes scored by Atiku and Buhari respectively across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT. Image screen-grabbed from the petition filed by Atiku and the PDP.

OTHER ISSUES

Atiku and the PDP also claim that Buhari “did not possess the qualification he claimed to have in his Form CF 001 (affidavit in support of personal particulars of persons seeking elections into the office of the President) sworn to on the 8th of October 2018) at the time of the election”.

“The Middle School Katsina and Katsina Provincial Secondary School which the 2nd Respondent (Buhari) claimed to have attended in his Curriculum Vitae between 1953 -1956 and 1956- 1961 respectively were at the material time, non-existent,” the petition read.

“The 2nd Respondent, in Form CF001 filled and submitted by him to the 1st Respondent (INEC), at Paragraph C, Column 2, Page 3, under SECONDARY, wrote “WASC”, thereby falsely claiming that qualification whereas there was no qualification known as WASC as at 1961.”

Therefore, the Atiku and the PDP want the tribunal to hold that all votes purportedly cast for the APC and Buhari in the 2019 Presidential Elections “are wasted votes” because Buhari “was not qualified to contest the said election in the first place or at all”.

No date has been fixed for the tribunal to commence sitting.

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