Victory at Tribunal: Sanwo-Olu, Kalu, Bello, Opadokun, Delta APC, Kano elders, Fasanmi, Bamidele, Maiduguri residents, others congratulate Buhari

Gov  Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his victory at the Presidential Election  Petition Tribunal.

Sanwo-Olu in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Gboyega Akosile, on Wednesday described the victory as a final lap of a relay race where the real victor was evidently seen at the finishing line.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the PDP and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, had approached the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja seeking the nullification of the victory of Buhari in the Feb. 23, 2019 poll.

But delivering judgment on the matter, Justice Mohammed Garuba dismissed all the grounds of the petition.

The governor in the statement said millions of Nigerians were not in doubt as regards the mandate freely given to Buhari to steer the ship of the country for another term of four years.

He, however,  said opposition politicians were also not wrong to have approached the court to seek redress as they were free to test the country’s judicial system.

”With this pronouncement, it is clear to everyone that it was  misinformation that was  spread against our party during the electioneering by the opposition.

”It is clear to everyone that the All Progressives Congress under President Muhammadu Buhari performed to the satisfaction of Nigerians in his first term in office,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu, therefore, enjoined Nigerians across party divide to team up with the president to deliver the real dividends of democracy to the people.

He said the next level campaign of the president was not only exciting but also a clear indication of the new frontier the country would reach in the next four years and beyond.

”I therefore congratulate the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

”I also congratulate the leadership and members of our great party, the All Progressives Congress, and all Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora on this very landmark judicial victory,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Opadokun

The General Secretary, National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Chief Ayo Opadokun, has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the Presidential Election Tribunal on Wednesday as a victory for democracy.

Opadokun spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.

NAN reports that the tribunal had dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, challenging the victory of Buhari in the Feb. 23 poll.

Opadokun said that the judiciary had discharged its responsibility as an arbiter between the two political parties.

He said: “I believe that this is a victory for democracy because the judiciary had discharged the onus of its responsibility as an arbiter between two political parties.

“It is now left with the political parties to make the next move.

“From the pronouncement on every issue that was made in the petition, the judiciary did not cover up any thing.

“For example, the judges examined every allegation made and it established that most of the allegations were based on hear say.

“They were statements made up by third parties and once you make allegations on criminal conduct, unleashing terror on voters, changing figures, snatching ballot box, just to mention a few, all these are criminal matters.

“The standard is that whenever you make allegations of crime in civil proceedings, the standard of proof is to prove beyond reasonable doubt.”

Opadokun said this was consistently established in the case of Omoboriowo versus Ajasin by the late Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Muhammad Bello, and subsequent cases.

He also said the allegations that figures were falsified were not enough as the petitioner had to prove these beyond reasonable doubt.

Opadokun, however, said the petitioner could still approach the Supreme Court for a resolution of the matter if unsatisfied with the tribunal’s judgment.

He said with the judgement, however, the judges had made a landmark pronouncement that would guide political parties and their candidates when approaching elections subsequently and preparing their petitions.

“As a lawyer, I am proudly behind the reasoning for the judgment on the presidential election that was given today (Wednesday) in an eight-hour plus sitting.

“The judges exhibited intellectual capacity to examine every milestone that was in fulcrum of the petition.

“They responded to every issue that was canvassed by the petitioner. They also provided a legal rationale for their conclusion and the judgement they arrived at.

“For example, the judges rejected INEC’s position on the argument on the eligibility of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the former Vice President;  they believe that INEC was wrong in the preliminary objection,” he said.

Opadokun said the judges had presented the judiciary in a very positive light because they did not leave out any matter of importance.

APC Delta

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta has commended the uncommon display of courage by the members of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

The party gave the commendation on Wednesday in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Sylvester Imonina in Asaba following the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the tribunal.

Imonina said  the chairman and members of the tribunal  had written their names in gold.

“This is in view of the fact that in spite the media trial of the petition by the opposition party, they were not deterred in doing justice in accordance with the law.

“In the course of the hearing of the petition, some media houses threw caution to the wind and deeply engaged themselves in media trial of the petition and Mr President.

“But today, the mandate given freely to Mr President by Nigerians have been reaffirmed by the tribunal.

“APC Delta wants to use this opportunity to thank Nigerians for the support they have given to Mr President so far.

“Nigerians have once again shown that they made no mistake in voting for His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We want to state that with Mr President on the political saddle, a better Nigeria is possible.” 

Kano elders

Some  elders in Kano State, on Wednesday commended the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal for upholding the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari.

A cross section of the elders who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the tribunal was  fairness in its verdict.

Alhaji Usman Adamu, a resident of Dorayi quarters in Gwale area of the state, told NAN that going by the tribunal’s proceedings, it was clear that the reforms carried out in the judiciary was yielding results.

He said  that the  petition of the PDP was a mere unsubstantiated allegations of the opposition, meant to divert  attention.

Malam Mustapha Balarabe, a trader in the state, also said that the petitioners were only following the trend of Nigerian politicians who would never  accept election results until compelled by legal verdicts.

Balarabe commended the five-man tribunal for delivering its verdict without fear or favour.

Ayo Fasanmi

A National Leader of Afenifere, Sen. Ayo Fasanmi, has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his victory at the Presidential Election  Petition Tribunal in Abuja.

Chief Abiodun Akin-Fasae, Afenifere Publicity Secretary in Ekiti, who spoke on behalf of Fasanmi, said on Wednesday that the president’s victory was a good development for Nigerians and democracy.

Fasanmi paid tributes to the judiciary ” for painstakingly going through the details of the petition without bothering whose ox was gored.”

He advised all stakeholders to come together and work for the  progress of the country, saying ” there is opportunity for everyone at all times to contribute to its development.”

In his own reaction, the Chairman of the Buhari Campaign Organisation in the 2019 general elections, Dr Olusegun Osinkolu, urged Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to accept the judgment in good faith and not heighten tension in the country.

Former Deputy Speaker of Ekiti House of Assembly, Chief Taiwo Olatunbosun, hailed the judgment, saying the outcome would enable the president serve the nation more than ever before.

Also commenting, the Senator representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District, Opeyemi Bamidele, commended the judiciary over the judgment, stressing that it would end all distractions and allow the president to focus on governance.

Bamidele, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, said the comprehensive nature of the judgment had shown that there was hope in the nation’s judiciary.

A lawyer, Mr Foluso Olawale, however, disagreed with an aspect of the judgment which declared Buhari as not only qualified but ” eminently” qualified academically to contest the election.

He also objected to the pronouncement of the tribunal to the effect that there was no provision for electronic transmission of results in the Electoral Act and electoral guidelines.

Bello congratulates Buhari

Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his victory at the Presidential Elections Petition Tribunal.

Bello in a statement in Lokoja on Wednesday hailed the tribunal for affirming the president’s victory in the last general elections

In the statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Muhammed Onogwu, the governor said the verdict had further demonstrated that the judiciary remains the hope of the common man.

‘The judiciary has again proved itself strong in the protection of democracy and the rule of law in Nigeria,’’ he said.

Bello also described Buhari as a man of the people and a peace-loving statesman.

‘The decision of the tribunal will definitely go a long way to solidify the faith of the masses in the courts,” the governor said.

He then felicitated with members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Nigerians as a whole, urging them to continue to believe in Buhari.

Bello advised former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to accept the verdict in good faith and join hands with the president to move the nation forward.

He also urged the president and members of his cabinet not to relent in their efforts to deliver the dividends of democracy to the ordinary Nigerians.

Bello reminded Buhari of the deplorable state of Federal roads in the state, calling for urgent actions to repair them.

The governor pledged his support and that of the people of the state to the policies and programmes of the Buhari-led Federal Government.

Residents of Maiduguri

Some residents of Maiduguri on Wednesday,  lauded the verdict of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal for  upholding the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in the Feb. 23 general elections.

Someof the residents, who spoke with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday, described the judgment as a “victory for the masses”.

Mr Usaini Yusuf, a teacher, said the decision of the tribunal to uphold the election was a clear testimony that the election was credible, free and fair.

Yusuf said that Nigerians gave Buhari a second term mandate with majority votes to enable him to continue with the good work of leading to  Nigeria  greatness.

“The verdict delivered by the tribunal in favour Buhari is in line with the provisions of the constitution and wishes of the people.

“It will further entrench democratic culture, promote peace and stability in the country.

“Atiku and Buhari are in the same party at one time, it is good for Atiku to support Buhari so that they work together for the good of Nigerians,” he said.

Ibrahim Dauda, who corroborated the earlier opinion, stressed the need for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Atiku, its presidential candidate in February poll to support the  Buhari administration to address security and socio-economic problems bedeviling the country.

Also, Yagana Ahmed, a Civil Society activist commended the court in the manner it handled the case, noting that the court had provided a level playing field to all the parties to present their cases.

Ahmed added that the court proceedings were also conducted within the confines of the law and stipulated time frame.

She advised  aggrieved parties on the case to seek redress in a competent court and restrain their supporters from taking  laws into their hands.

Alhaji Mustapha Abba, an APC stalwart, said that the judgment would enable the president to consolidate on the successes recorded in the counter insurgency campaign.

However, Abubakar Idris, a member of the PDP, said that the tribunal erred by not voiding the election over lack of Buhari’s school certificate, which he said was established before the court.

“The tribunal did not address the issues of Buhari’s qualification for the election clearly, if I were Atiku, I will seek redress at the Supreme Court,” he said.

Orji Kalu

Former Abia State Governor, Orji Kalu, has described the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Election tribunal as good for Nigeria’s democracy.

In a statement in Abuja on Wednesday,  Kalu, a former governor of Abia, described the verdict of the tribunal as a re-affirmation of the popularity of the president among Nigerians.

He stressed that the 2019 presidential election provided another opportunity for Nigerians to compensate Buhari for his good works.

Kalu, while acknowledging the role of the judiciary in sustaining the country’s democracy, advised politicians to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship in the interest of national development.

He commended the panel for the judgment and expressed appreciation to Nigerians for their firm confidence in the president and his team.

“President Buhari’s victory is a testament to the unprecedented achievements of the current administration.

“I join other Nigerians in celebrating the verdict of the tribunal.

“President Buhari’s pedigree and goodwill will always speak for him.

“The president as a strong advocate of democracy, provided a level playing ground for candidates across political parties in the 2019 general elections.

“President Buhari’s leadership style is highly commendable.

“With the judgment of the tribunal, the opposition and other stakeholders should join hands with the President in his determined efforts to reposition Nigeria,” kalu said.

The former governor, further applauded the level of maturity displayed by Buhari before, during and after the polls and charged the political class to embrace the tenets of democracy in their endeavours.

He noted that the unity of Nigeria remained non-negotiable.

Kalu also congratulated Mr Adams Oshiomole, the National Chairman of APC, takeholders and members of the party and urged Nigerians to be calm, steadfast and law-abiding.

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