The All Progressives Congress (APC) has responded to the allegations made by Atiku Abubakar, a candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, against President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal. In a statement released on Wednesday, the APC stated that some of the allegations leveled against Tinubu are of a criminal nature.
The ongoing tribunal case involves Atiku and Obi challenging the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the February 25th presidential election. The APC argued that both candidates failed to provide credible evidence to substantiate their claims of election rigging in favor of Tinubu. The party further stated that the evidence presented by Obi and the Labour Party was minimal and lacked credibility.
The APC, in its final brief of argument presented by its team of lawyers led by Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, contended that Atiku and the PDP were not entitled to the reliefs sought in their petition. The party maintained that the petitioners merely submitted documents to the court without adequately demonstrating their relevance or linking them to specific allegations against Tinubu’s victory.
The APC stressed that the petitioners’ allegations of election rigging were not tied to specific polling units in the local government areas of the 24 states whose elections were challenged in the petition. The party emphasized that these allegations must be supported by cogent, credible, and reliable evidence as required by the law.
Regarding Tinubu’s educational qualification, the APC argued that the exhibits presented in court confirmed that he attended Chicago State University in the United States and graduated with honors. The party also asserted that the petitioners failed to produce the genuine certificate from which they alleged a forged certificate was made.
Regarding the alleged forfeiture of $460,000 due to his alleged involvement in a drug-related case, the APC stated that there was no evidence of Tinubu being charged, convicted, or fined in any criminal case. The party argued that there were no criminal proceedings or guilty verdicts against Tinubu that would warrant his disqualification.
On the issue of dual citizenship, the APC maintained that Tinubu’s possession of a Guinean passport was not sufficient grounds to disqualify him or nullify his election. The party stated that Tinubu was a Nigerian citizen by birth and not by registration or naturalization. It further emphasized that acquiring dual citizenship does not strip a Nigerian-born citizen of their right to vote or be voted for in Nigerian elections.
The APC concluded by stating that the petitioners’ claim that Tinubu did not secure 25% of votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, during the presidential election was baseless. The party argued that the FCT does not enjoy a special status as a constituent unit or a state under the constitution and that there is equality before the ballot.
In summary, the APC responded to the allegations made by Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi against President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, asserting that the allegations lacked credible evidence and failed to meet the legal requirements for substantiation. The party defended Tinubu’s educational qualification, refuted the alleged criminal involvement, and countered the claims of dual citizenship, among other arguments.