- Says election petition panel refused to be intimidated by PDP and its agents
Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has commended members of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal for not being deterred by threats and intimidation from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its agents to taint its sense of justice.
This, the group said, is proof that the Justices are men of honour that cannot be intimidated by social media bullies bent on arm-twisting them to ignore the evidence tabled before the tribunal.
BMO said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, that it was expecting nothing less than the outright dismissal of the petition like the panel members did.
“It was glaring to everyone, aside from PDP elements, that the petition challenging the overwhelming electoral victory of President Muhammadu Buhari was not only frivolous, but also useless as Festus Keyamo famously said soon after the case was filed.
“However, the Tribunal has now further shown how ridiculous the electoral challenge was and made it clear that the President was duly qualified to contest in the February 23, 2019 election in the first place, on the basis of educational qualification and professional attainment.
“To quote the panel directly, it said President Buhari ‘is not only qualified but also eminently qualified’ to stand for election. This is a direct message to naysayers.
“And to make matters worse for the petitioners, the Tribunal questioned the sense in querying the President’s assertion that his certificates were with the Army even when the Army authorities alluded to it when the matter was brought up in 2015., and even went further to quote the President’s grades in the subjects he sat for.
“It is also worthy of note that the Justices were emphatic in brushing aside claims by the petitioners that results were transmitted through electronic means to a server at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”
The group then urged opposition elements who claimed to be awaiting the Tribunal verdict before recognising the President to keep their promise.
“We know that a few people, including the elder statesman Pa Ayo Adebanjo, factional leader of the Yoruba socio-cultural group Afenifere, had insisted that they would not recognise President Buhari until they know the outcome of the Tribunal.
“And now that the five-member panel has affirmed that the President was duly elected, we expect that a gentleman like Pa Adebanjo will toe the path of honour.
“We acknowledge that it is within the right of the opposition to go to the Supreme Court but we hope that the former Vice President would see the handwriting on the wall and accept that he lost the election fair and square.”
BMO also solicited the support of Nigerians for the success of President Buhari’s second term in office and assured them that they would not be disappointed.