Sunday, 15 September 2019

‘Presidential Tribunal judgment Poorly Delivered, It' ll Encourage Corruption-Ozekhome




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One of the lead counsels to the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) said the case between Atiku Abubakar against President Mohammadu Buhari decided on Wednesday “was poorly decided by the tribunal, says it will encourage corruption’
Addressing journalists in Abuja, Ozekhome said there was very poor evaluation of evidence. “There were pieces and instances in which only the evidence of the respondents, that is Buhari, Independent National Electoral Commission (EFCC) and All Progressives Congress (APC) were considered without that of Atiku and PDP being considered at all.

“There were many instances of misapplication of the provisions of the constitution, the Electoral Act, the INEC guidelines, INEC handbook and provisions relating to the existence of the Server owned by INEC. There were even instances when the Court of Appeal, the Election Petition Tribunal behaved more like a Father Christmas by giving to the respondents what they did not ask for.”
“For example, in their defence, they were merely saying, Buhari was qualified to contest the election, but when the court now came up by itself to say, Buhari was not only qualified but was eminently qualified, they were even granting to them more than they asked for.”
Ozekhome stated that it is of great concern that the judgment, if not challenged and reversed, will set a very bad precedent for the citizens of the country in terms of business dealings, in terms of educational qualifications, in terms of international trades and in terms of international investments.

 Ozekhome in its decision to approach the supreme court  said the fact that certain provisions of the Electoral Act being misinterpreted and misapplied, there is so much to appeal against."
"At the Supreme Court there will be very good heads that will hear the appeal from here. There is no question about that; we will appeal this judgment," he said.
hours after the judgment is delivered, the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus said the party's lawyers would study the judgment and do the right thing.
Section 134 (2) and (3) of the Electoral Act, 2010, provides for 180 days to dispose election petitions arising from the office of the president and vice president, while 134(3) provides that an appeal from the tribunal would be heard and disposed of within 90 days from date of the judgment.

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