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Judgment Reserved in Atiku’s Petition Against Tinubu

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, sitting at the court of appeal in Abuja, has reserved its judgment in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

The five-man panel of judges, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, adjourned the matter for judgment, with the date to be communicated to all parties. After the final arguments were adopted by all parties on Tuesday, Justice Tsammani called for prayers for Nigeria.

In the final argument presented by Abubakar Mahmoud, counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), he sought the dismissal of the petition as lacking merit. Mahmoud argued that the petitioner’s major claim of noncompliance to the Electoral Act, related to the use of technology, had no basis.

He stated that the evidence presented showed the effectiveness of the technological innovations in the electoral process, with all data securely stored on the Amazon Web services, a globally recognized and guarded cloud service.

Mahmoud emphasized that INEC’s use of technology was in line with the electoral Act, which did not change the prescription of manual collation. He addressed the glitch in transmission that occurred, stating that it was unfortunate but did not affect the outcome of the election.

Counsel to President Bola Tinubu, Wole Olanipekun, argued for the dismissal of the petition, stating that uploading results to the IMEC result viewing portal had no role in collating results.

He reaffirmed that collation was primarily a physical and manual process, and the petitioners had not presented any clear figure of votes scored by Atiku.

On his part, Lateef Fagbemi, counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), argued that all the points raised in Atiku’s petition had already received judicial pronouncements and resolutions.

He highlighted the lack of evidence contradicting the election results and the absence of disqualification grounds for Tinubu.

In response, Chris Uche, counsel to the petitioners, claimed that the technology used in the election was deliberately manipulated, as real-time transmission occurred for the National Assembly result but not for the presidential election.

Justice Tsammani reserved judgment to a later date, and one of the judges urged all parties to pray for Nigeria.

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