Presidential Petition Panel: Tension In Aso Rock Over Atiku’s Revelations
There is reported palpable tension in the Presidency in Abuja after the Presidential Petition Panel began sitting on Wednesday in the case filed by the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] and its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
It could be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress [APC] had evaded service up till Tuesday.
Consequently, the Election Tribunal had granted PDP and Atiku Abubakar leave for substituted service on APC and its candidate, Buhari.
The three-man panel, led by Justice Abdul Aboki, granted the application on Wednesday.
Atiku’s counsel, Chris Uche [SAN] had asked the court for leave for substituted service on the respondents in a motion ex parte dated March 2, 2019.
According to him, all efforts to serve the respondents have proved abortive, moving the Tribunal to grant the application.
ElombahNews was informed by an insider that President Buhari and his inner caucus are quite restless over revelation by PDP/ Abubakar in their application.
The opposition party had alleged that Buhari lied under oath when he delivered affidavit to the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] claiming he attended Elementary School Daura and Mai Aduaa between 1948 and 1952.
Atiku informed the court that those schools were not in existence between 1948 and 1952 and therefore Muhammadu Buhari could not have attended either school.
PDP also pointed out that the President swore on oath that he attended Middle School Katsina between 1953 and 1956.
Atiku, however, deposed on court papers at the Election Tribunal that the middle school was also not in existence as at 1953 and up till 1956.
Moreover, Buhari swore on oath that he attended Katsina Provincial College between 1956 and 1961.
Atiku also disclaimed the oath by asserting contrarily that the Katsina Provincial College was not built, founded, operational or even in existence between 1956 and 1961.
PDP/Atiku, therefore, asked the Tribunal to disqualify Buhari as he is not fit to contest the election ab initio having failed to meet the education requirements for eligibility.
This charge squarely makes out a case of serial forgery, if proved by archival materials which Atiku claims possession of.
If Atiku proves the “serial fraud” allegation, with conclusive evidence, Buhari will have no answer in rebuttal than throw in the towel and plead for leniency.
Things might not, however, end with throwing in the towel as lawyers are planning to go for more pound of flesh.
Sources within Atiku Abubakar’s camp revealed to ElombahNews that the legal team plans to go for judicial action against the president if the allegation are proven in court.
Of course the allegation, without gainsaying, is a serious charge sounding in perjury and punishable by 14 years imprisonment under the Penal Code.
Besides being punishable under the 1999 Constitution, will result to immediate disqualification with consequent voiding of all votes cast for Muhammadu Buhari at last month’s presidential election.
This, according to the constitution, is because a disqualified candidate is not entitled to be credited with any vote.
It could be recalled that several personalities had approached Atiku and asked him not to go to court to challenge Buhari’s victory in the 2019 presidential election.
Among the personalities is one statement credited to the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III reminding him of the fallout if he wins in the court and Buhari refuses to relinquish power.
More updates on the Tribunal will be made public as they unfold.