National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Wednesday, commended the Presidential Elections Tribunal for affirming President Muhammadu Buhari’s election victory.
Tinubu said the tribunal’s verdict was “a resounding judicial vindication of Buhari’s personal character and his electoral victory.”
The tribunal on Wednesday upheld President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election, saying that Atiku Abubakar and his party, PDP, failed to discharge the burden of proof of the allegation of non-qualification Buhari to contest the February 23 election.
Delivering judgment, Justice Mohammed Garba, held that evidence before the court shows that Buhari obtained Cambridge West African Examination Council (WAEC).
Garba held that it has been established that a candidate is not required under the Electoral Act to attach his certificate to his Form CF001 before a candidate is adjudged to have the requisite qualification to contest the election.
”I am also of the firm view that the petitioners have failed to prove that the second respondent submitted false information which is fundamental in nature to aid his qualification to contest the election into the Office of the President as prescribed in section 35(1) of the Evidence Act, 2011.
“The onus rests squarely on the petitioners to prove their assertion that the 2nd respondent does not possess the educational qualification to contest the election or that he submitted false information which is fundamental in nature to aid his qualification.
”This I have mentioned that the petitioners failed to prove. The petitioners cannot, therefore, rely on any failure in the case.”
But the APC national leader in a statement entitled: “Presidential Elections Tribunal Verdict, Justice Served, Democracy Saved”, said the Court of Appeal rendered a comprehensive judgment of extraordinary thoroughness, reason, and breadth on many issues presented in this important matter.
Tinubu said: “With the unanimous ruling of the Court of Appeal dismissing the Presidential Election Petitions of the PDP candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, today, the rule of law came to the defence of democracy by affirming the sovereign will of people.
“Their wills were expressed during the Feb. 23 elections when a vast, compelling majority of the electorate cast their ballots for Buhari to serve a second term as Head of State and Commander-in- Chief of our beloved nation.
“Whatever partisan side one might take, all must agree that today was a bright day for the administration of justice.”
According to him, Atiku and his legal team put forth some imaginative, if desperate, arguments as was their right.
The APC chieftain said the PDP fought vigorously for their positions and were allowed to do so without pressure and without fear.
He said: “No one used the power of the state to intimidate them in court, just as no one used the power of the state to intimidate them during the elections.
“As the court affirmed, the election was free and fair, and the final result should stand.”