Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has vehemently opposed the decision handed down by the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT), which upheld Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February 2023 election.
In a press conference held on Thursday, Atiku expressed his strong disapproval of the tribunal’s ruling, which also dismissed the petitions of Peter Obi from the Labour Party (LP) and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM). Undaunted by the outcome, Atiku has instructed his legal team to pursue an appeal in the Supreme Court.
Addressing the press, Atiku stated, “Gentlemen of the press, I take great pains to tell you that the decision of the court of first instance on this matter utterly falls far short of that expectation. I am therefore here to tell you that, though the judgment of the court yesterday is respected, it is a judgment that I refuse to accept. I refuse to accept the judgment because I believe that it is bereft of substantial justice. However, the disappointment in the verdict of the court can never destroy my confidence in the judiciary.
Continuing, he said, “I have asked my lawyers to activate my constitutionally guaranteed rights of appeal to the higher court, which, in the instance, is the Supreme Court. It is my conviction that the electoral process in Nigeria should be devoid of untidy manipulations and that the outcome of every election should be a perfect reflection of the wishes of the electorate.
Atiku emphasized his commitment to upholding democratic values, asserting, “I believe that such an approach is the only way to ensure that our democracy genuinely represents its true essence. Regardless of the outcome of this endeavor, my efforts to promote credible elections in Nigeria will stand as a testament for future generations to assess.”
Meanwhile, Atiku’s party, the PDP, has also rejected the tribunal’s decision and intends to consult its legal experts to determine the next course of action. Despite the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declaring Bola Tinubu as the victor, Atiku remains steadfast in his belief that he won the election, despite finishing in second place.