The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the last election, Abubakar Atiku, has asked the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to uphold the declaration of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that he (Atiku) won 21 states in the February 25 presidential election.
Atiku made the request on Friday in his final address in support of his joint petition with the PDP seeking the nullification of INEC’s declaration of Ahmed Bola Tinubu as winner of the poll.
In his final address, Atiku stated that INEC’s claim that he won in 25 states had not been questioned, repudiated, refuted, or declared to be an error during the tribunal’s hearings thus far.
INEC stated in its answer to Atiku’s petition that the PDP presidential candidate won 21 states in the previous presidential election.
Adamawa, Akwa Ibom Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Osun, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara are among the 21 states declared by INEC as having been won by Atiku and the PDP.”
The former Vice President stated that the tribunal should proceed to maintain the declaration because the electoral commission, on its own assertions, indicated that he won those states and did contest the assumption throughout the proceedings.
“Very notably, the 1st Respondent (INEC), who administered the election, made an open admission in paragraph 18 of its Reply to the Petition, where it unequivocally stated:
“The 1st Respondent further avers that in compliance with extant laws and regulations, it diligently discharged its duties when it collated the 1st Petitioner’s (Atiku) scores at the election, which aggregate to 6,984,520, winning only 21 states, to wit: Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Osun, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara.
“In fact, as the first Respondent (INEC) admitted, the first Petitioner (Atiku) won in these 21 states.” It is vital to note that the first Respondent (INEC) did not contradict, countermand, or deny this critical averment throughout the trial.
“We urge your Lordship to rule that this is an admission that does not require further proof.” It is also an admission against interest.
As a result, Atiku urged with the Tribunal to uphold INEC’s claim in the process and declare him the victor of the February 25 Presidential Election.