In a statement, Vice President Atiku Abubakar addresses the press regarding the Supreme Court’s verdict on the February 25th presidential election.
The press conference was held at the PDP Headquarters in Abuja, and Atiku emphasizes the critical role of the Supreme Court in upholding the rule of law.
Atiku begins by stating that his concern is not just about his personal loss but the potential ramifications for Nigeria if the Supreme Court legitimizes actions like forgery, identity theft, and perjury.
He asserts that if the court condones such behavior, it could have disastrous consequences for Nigeria’s democracy and electoral system.
Atiku provides a historical perspective, recounting his involvement in Nigeria’s transition from military rule to democracy and the challenges he faced.
He highlights his commitment to democratic principles, even in the face of personal hardships and attacks on his character.
Issues with the Election:
Atiku discusses the evidence he presented regarding irregularities, violence, and manipulations during the elections.
He argues that INEC’s actions undermined transparency and violated the Electoral Act.
He also raises concerns about INEC’s failure to verify candidates’ credentials adequately.
Atiku outlines several grave implications of the judgments by the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPC) and the Supreme Court.
These implications include erosion of trust in the electoral system, encouraging contestants to resort to unlawful means, and undermining the role of courts in addressing electoral disputes.
Proposals for Reform:
Atiku suggests constitutional amendments to prevent courts from using technicalities to uphold electoral fraud and to ensure that all litigation is concluded before the inauguration of a winner.
He also proposes a runoff system, a single six-year term for the President, and measures to verify candidates’ credentials and disqualify those with contradictory or falsified documents.
Reforming the Judiciary:
Atiku advocates for reforms in the judiciary to improve transparency in judge appointments, case assignments, and evaluations of judges’ performance.
These reforms aim to reduce election petitions and corruption within the judiciary.
Atiku concludes by emphasizing the need to restore confidence in the electoral system and the judiciary.
He highlights the importance of transparency and accountability in elections and the responsibility of the voters to choose their leaders.
Atiku’s statement reflects his commitment to democracy, rule of law, and transparency in the electoral process.
It also serves as a call to action for reforms to strengthen Nigeria’s democratic institutions.