Tribunal: Atiku, Obi not specific in petitions, says APGA founder, Chekwas Okorie

The founder of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Chief Chekwas Okorie, on Wednesday, expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja.

He noted that both Atiku and Obi relied on scoring technical points at the tribunal, rather than stating the specific polling units where they were denied lawful votes.

He said: “I am not surprised at the outcome of the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, PEPT. I took the time to read through the petitions of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and Peter Obi of the Labour Party before now.

“I was satisfied that the petitioners failed woefully to specify the polling units or collation centres where they were denied lawful votes, which could have earned either of them victory at the polls. Rather than prove a case of substantial non-compliance with the electoral law, they seemed to have relied on scoring technical points to win their petitions. Their strategy failed.

“It is clear even to the unwary that the framers of the 1999 constitution could not have intended to confer on the Federal Capital Territory, FTC, superior status to the rest of the states of the Federation. What is clear to the discerning public that painstakingly followed the delivery of the unanimous judgments by the five judges of the Tribunal, which lasted for more than 10 hours, and which was broadcast live by all major television and radio networks in Nigeria is that the declaration of President Tinubu as the lawful winner of the February 25, 2023 Presidential election was well founded.”

He congratulated Tinubu while noting that if the petitioners – Atiku and Obi proceeded to appeal the judgments, the results would remain the same.

Okorie said: “While the petitioners may wish to exercise their right of appeal, l do not expect a different outcome. I most sincerely congratulate President Tinubu and his vice president, Senator Kashim Shettima.

“The President should be focused on the onerous task of governing a complex and complicated country without further distractions.

“In addition to delivering on his campaign promises, Nigeria’s geopolitical structure is in urgent need of resetting.”

Continuing, he said: “President Tinubu is a well-known champion of true federalism. So much is expected from him in this regard. I am confident that he has the capacity and ability to launch Nigeria on the path of rapid and sustainable development. I urge Nigerians to pray for the President and cooperate with his administration.

“I also urge those in opposition to be constructive and patriotic in their criticism of government policies and actions.

“The Legislature has a responsibility to revisit the electoral laws to remove all established lacuna and ambiguities to make future elections less contentious.”