PDP, Atiku reject presidential election court judgment, set to appeal

PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Presidential Candidate in the 2023 General Election, Atiku Abubakar have rejected the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).

NAN reports that the PEPC affirmed the election of President Bola Tinubu in the Feb. 25 election.

Addressing a news conference on Thursday in Abuja, Abubakar stated this at a news conference at the party headquarters, said he has already informed his lawyers to activate the process of appealing the judgment at the Supreme Court.

He said that the journey of his political career held so much to the courage and fearless decisions of the judiciary, as he had found the judiciary as a worthy pillar to rest on in the pursuit of justice.

Abubakar insisted that the way the 2023 presidential election was managed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) left behind unenviable precedents, adding  that his decision to go to court was anchored on his belief that the court is the sanctuary of justice.

The former Vice president, however, said that the Wednesday PEPT judgement fell short of people’s expectations and failed to restore people confidence in credible election in the country.

“I am afraid that the judgment of the court as rendered by the court yesterday, has failed to restore confidence in our dreams of free and fair elections devoid of human manipulations.

“Like I did say at the beginning of this legal battle when I instructed my lawyers to file my petition challenging the outcome of the presidential election, my ultimate goal in this pursuit is to ensure that democracy is further strengthened through the principles and processes of fair hearing.

“I take great pains to tell you that the decision of the court of first instance on this matter utterly falls far short of that expectation.

“I am therefore here to tell you that, though the judgment of the court yesterday is respected, it is a judgment that I refuse to accept.

“I refuse to accept the judgment because I believe that it is bereft of substantial justice. However, the disappointment in the verdict of the court can never destroy my confidence in the judiciary.

“Consequently, I have asked my lawyers to activate my constitutionally guaranteed rights of appeal to the higher court, which, in the instance, is the Supreme Court,” Abubakar said.

The former vice president said it was his conviction that the electoral process in Nigeria should be devoid of untidy manipulations and that the outcome of every election should be a perfect reflection of the wishes of the electorate.

“I believe that such is the only way through which our democracy can have a manifest expression of its true meaning.

“Whether I prevail in this quest or not, the record of my effort in ensuring an order of credible elections in Nigeria shall remain for the future generations to evaluate.”

Abubakar however urged all his supporters to remain steadfast and loyal to the PDP.

“I urge them to take solace in an immortal lesson I learned from my leader and mentor, the late Shehu Yar’Adua, that losing a battle is less important than losing the war.

“We might have lost a battle yesterday, but the war is well ahead of us. And I believe that with our hopes in God, we shall win the war of restoring confidence in our electoral system,” Abubakar said.

Giving hope to the disappointed members of PDP, Abubakar said he was one of the founding members of the party and he believed that the PDP remained a strong party and mother of all political parties.

He said that the members have no reason to lose hope in PDP but remain loyal members of the historic party.
“Why would you not want to be proud to be a member of PDP? There is absolutely no reason.

“I therefore want our members to remain loyal to remain dedicated and to foster national unity,” Abubakar said.

Earlier in his speech, the PDP acting National Chairman, Alhaji Umar Damagum said as a law abiding political party, PDP received the PEPC  judgment with shock.

“The judgement of the PEPT which came out yesterday left lovers of democracy in and outside the country, more confused with a lot of questions whether the Nigerian Constitution, Electoral Act and other laws guiding the conduct of credible election in our country are still functional.

“Close observation from the faces of Nigeria across the country shows hopelessness and despair since the pronouncement of the judgment.

“Lawyers, politicians and other stakeholders from all divides were left confused as both law and facts were visibly thrown overboard,” he said.

Damagum also urged PDP members not to lose focus or be distracted, saying the party National Working Committee (NWC) was working to continue pursue it mandate, put the party together to give Nigeria credible opposition.(NAN)