2019: Atiku Loses At Supreme Court

 By Stephen Ubanna

 Hopes of  Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of the  Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to overturn the Independent National Electoral Commission , INEC,  February 23, 2019, Presidential election through the Court process,  appears to have been dashed.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday , August 12, 2019,  finally sealed the hope of Atiku and the PDP, of upturning the Presidential elections result won by President Muhammadu BBuhari of the ruling  All Progressive Congress, APC,   in  when it  struck out his appeal and that of PDP, which sponsored  him in the election. The five –man panel appointed by  Ibrahin Tanko  Muhammed , the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, led by  Dattijo Mohammad  had described the appeal as  ‘’statue barred’’.

 Signs that  the PDP  presidential Candidate  has lost the battle emerged   when  Mahmood Yakubu, a Professor and Chairman, INEC, disobeyed the Appeal  Court  ruling ,  that  the multi- billionaire business mogul PDP  Presidential Candidate should be allowed to inspect  the documents  and materials  used in the election.

Atiku had cried out , describing   it as a deliberate plan by the Commission    to frustrate  the plan by him and the party  to file their petition  at the Presidential election Tribunal  but that was how far he could go.  The ruling APC, were out to force Atiku to soft-pedal and withdraw the case from Court.  But the apex Court may have given him a fresh hope that he has a good case   as  the  five-man panel on  Tuesday , August 20, 2019,    heard arguments  on an appeal  by the hard- fighting  Atiku and the party  seeking   to be allowed  access  to the INEC server.

Abdullahi Babalele: Atiku’s Son- In Law In EFCC Custody Granted Bail By The Court

Atiku and the PDP were insisting  that the results of the February 23, 2019, election  which gave Buhari victory    were stored  in the INEC server, which the Commission does not exist as Collation of results during the election was done manually. The five-man  panel which had earlier given Atiku and the PDP hope of looking into their petition later  today  said’’ there was no basis to interfere   with the earlier decision   of  the  Presidential election petition Tribunal  rejecting   their request  to access the INEC serve’’r

. It was a big blow to the Adamawa state born politician who had expected that the case would be in his favour and the party in order to push out the APC from power.  He may have to wait for another opportunity in 2023 if the party zones the Presidential slot to the north east or throw the field open to all Contestments  to vie for the position no matter the geo-political region. In this case , he he could his financial muscle to  clinch the position as he di in 2018.  

 Note that as a prelude to weaken the PDP  Presidential Candidate  in order to bow to pressure to withdraw the case from Court,  Atiku claimed that  Babalele Abdullahi, his son-law, who  incidentally was the Finance Director  of his Group of Companies  was arrested  and detained over alleged  money , which the Commission put at  $140,000,  on August 9, 2019.

  The Commission had arraigned Abdullahi, in a Federal High Court in Lagos last Thursday  on a two count charge of money laundering  committed in the February 23, 2019 election for votes buying.

The anti-graft agency plan, according to a party source, was to force   Abdullahi to  open up on  Atiku’s sources of Income in order to  nail him but got it wrong. He may have been worried that his son-In law was in EFCC Custody but refused to bow to pressures to withdraw the case from Court and concede victory to  the Katsina state born Nigerian President. He was said to have allowed the Commission to do their work  by arraigning him in Court to go through the legal process for people to know  what Abdullahi, his  Director of Finance and son-in law has done.   Many believe that the money to mobilise  five  Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN,  to facilitate his release from  the Commission  Custody  was not the problem. 

It was not surprising why he was very happy  that  Justice  Nicholas Oweibo, of the Lagos Federal High Court, granted  bail to him ,last Thursday  in the sum of N20 million. Indeed, it was a big relief to him  that at long last his Director of Finance and son-In law could breathe the air of freedom again, an indication that there are  still  Judges  who could stand by their decision.

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