President-elect Bola Tinubu has told the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) to dismiss the case brought by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying the former is a serial loser with no capacity to win a national election.
Former vice president Atiku Abubakar is at the PEPC to contend the outcome of the February 25 presidential election which returned Mr Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress as winner.
But in his response to Mr Abubakar’s petition, Mr Tinubu said his co-contestant couldn’t have won the poll because he was a serial election loser.
“The 1st petitioner (Abubakar) has been consistently contesting and losing successive presidential elections in Nigeria since 1993, whether at the party primary election level or at the general election,” he said.
Mr Tinubu’s reply to Mr Abubakar’s petition was filed by his team of lawyers led by Wole Olanipekun, SAN.
In a preliminary objection marked: CA/PEPC/05/2023, the APC presidential candidate in the presidential poll prayed the court to dismiss the entire petition.
The president-elect recalled that Mr Abubakar in 1993, lost the Social Democratic Party (SDP) primary election to the late Chief M.K.O Abiola.
He said “in 2007, he lost the presidential
election to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.”
He said in 2011, he lost the PDP presidential primary election to President Goodluck Jonathan and in 2015, he lost the APC primary election to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Tinubu said in 2019, Mr Abubakar lost the presidential election to Buhari; and now in 2023, he had, again, lost the presidential election to him.
According to the president-elect, it was not a surprise or not by accident that the electorate rejected the 1st petitioner at the polls of the presidential election held on Feb. 25.
He said he was ready to provide evidence to prove to the court that a host of states controlled by PDP and their governors protested against Mr Abubakar’s emergence as party’s candidate and vowed never to support his candidature.
He said he would “lead evidence to show that the 1st petitioner could not even campaign or canvass for votes in some of the states controlled by the 2nd petitioner, including Rivers and Oyo States where the 2nd respondent (Tinubu) defeated the 1st petitioner (Abubakar) by a wide margin.
Mr Tinubu, who said the former vice president having lost at the election had no right to be declared as winner under the Nigerian laws, prayed the court to dismiss the petition for lacking in merit, substance and sincerity.
He described it as being “frivolous, vexatious, highly misconceived and disclosing of no reasonable cause of action.”
The former Lagos governor further described the petition filed by Mr Abubakar and PDP against his election victory as “a gross abuse of court processes.”
Mr Abubakar, 1st petitioner, and PDP, 2nd petitioner, in the petition marked: CA/PEPC/05/2023, had sued INEC, Tinubu and APC as 1st to 3rd respondents respectively.
The petitioners are seeking the nullification of the February 25 presidential poll.
Mr Tinubu, who defeated 17 other candidates who took part in the election, scored a total of 8,794,726 votes, the highest of all the candidates.
While the former vice president came second with 6,984,520 votes in the poll; Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) came third with 6,101,533 votes.
However, Mr Abubakar and the PDP are asking the tribunal to set aside Tinubu’s victory and to declare Abubakar winner of the election.
In the alternative, they want an order mandating INEC to conduct a fresh election, without the participation of APC and its candidate.