APC: Tinubu Had No Telephone Conversation With CJN, Ariwoola

•Says Atiku, Obi’s evidence poor, minuscule, deficient

Adedayo Akinwale and Alex Enumah in Abuja

The All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, denied ‘rumours’ that President Bola Tinubu had a telephone conversation with the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, over the ongoing case before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

This was as the party has submitted that the evidence adduced by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) were not weighty enough to elicit response not to talk of nullifying the February 25 election

National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, said this in a statement responding to a tweet by one Jackson Ude, who claimed the president had a conversation with CJN.

He said, “We have become aware of a decidedly mischievous and intentionally misleading tweet by one Mr Jackson Ude. He alleged that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was in telephone conversation with the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, in which the CJN purportedly told the President and APC to prepare for a presidential election rerun.

“It is disturbing and disgraceful for Mr Ude to fabricate a falsehood of this kind on a matter of serious national importance that is actively under review by the Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPC).”

Morka stressed that Tinubu and the ruling party won the last presidential election without a doubt, and did not have any need to engage in side conversations with the CJN regarding pending petitions before the PEPC.

“As the core democrat that he is, the president respects the right of aggrieved candidates in the election to seek redress for any grievances that they may have. The Constitution and Electoral Act provide effective guarantees of that right,” he said.

The ruling party noted that the PEPC should be afforded the time and space to perform its important constitutional and statutory duty of  adjudicating and delivering a verdict in the matter without needlessly calling the integrity of our Judges into question.

According to him, “Falsehood and conjecture by the likes of Mr. Ude only aim to inflame political passions, create doubt and panic, and peremptorily undermine the verdict of the courts in this important matter.

“We are confident that Nigerians are smarter and more discerning than to be affected by this opposition brand of tasteless and crass mercenary expedition.”

Meanwhile, the APC, in its final written address in response to the petitions of Atiku and Obi against the contentious presidential poll, said Atiku and Obi’s evidence were poor, minuscule, and deficient in credibility to upturn Tinubu’s electoral victory.

APC in its final address dated and filed July 14, urged the court to dismiss the two separate petitions for lacking in merit, adding that they were doomed to fail, because the averments and materials attached to the petitions were “grossly insufficient to sustain the petition apart from the incompetent grounds on which it was predicated.

APC’s lawyer, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, said, “Your Lordships are thus enjoined to dismiss the Petition without going into the merits of same as we have urged in the motions on notice filed on May 8, 2023, on which the rulings of this Court are pending”.

Reacting to the petition filed by Obi, the APC submitted that the flaw in his pleading no doubt explained why he led evidence by calling witnesses from only a pocket of polling units, wards, local Government Areas and Local Area Councils from the disputed States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Similarly, the APC stated that the 27 witnesses called by Atiku “is not only poor and minuscule but also deficient in credibility to disturb the presidential election of 25 February 2023 which was held all over the federation in substantial compliance with the provisions of the law.

“Hence the petition is a stillbirth having regard to abject failure by Petitioners to offer credible and reliable evidence in each of the polling units it challenged. That awesome, herculean and daunting task placed on them by law in this petition was its undoing.”

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