The National Chairman of the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Yerima Shettima, has called on the Presidential Election Tribunal to declare the Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the last Presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, winner of the February 23, Presidential election.
Shettima’s call came on the heels of the refusal of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to call any witness to defend its case against the petition filed by the opposition PDP, on Monday, at the Presidential Tribunal, sitting on Monday.Recall, that Atiku and the PDP are challenging the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari, of the All Progressives Congress, as the winner of the election by INEC.
Shettima, who spoke on the issue, said that the refusal of INEC’s Lawyers to provide witnesses to debunk Atiku/PDP’s claims, was enough for the Tribunal to declare Atiku the winner of the election.He added that beyond the activities at the Tribunal, Nigerians are already clear about the “fact that INEC wrongly declared Buhari the winner.”
He said: “I am just concerned if the Presidential Tribunal will declare the rightful winner of the election. Nigerians already know what transpired during the elections, before the case got to the Tribunal. But now that the case is at the Tribunal, we hope that justice will be done as expected by everyone.
“Today now, we all saw what happened at the Tribunal. And we all know what that implies. I wish the court will do the right thing.
However, whatever they do, the consequence is awaiting us in the future. I would tell them to be careful not to allow a repeat of what happened during the 1993 election between MKO Abiola and Bashir Tofa.”
Shettima stated that whatever happens while the Tribunal sittings last, will forever remain in the history of Nigeria’s democracy, adding that, the next generation will never forget whoever participated in rewriting history.
He said: “For INEC not to bring a witness, simply means that they know the truth. It also means that what PDP brought forward was the true picture of what transpired during that election. And if that be the case, the court should not delay in doing justice to the matter, by declaring Atiku the winner of the election.”
When the Tribunal called INEC to open its case, on Monday, the Electoral Umpire’s Lawyer, Yunus Usman, SAN, affirmed before the Tribunal that it will not be necessary, on the grounds that the evidence extracted from the Petitioners’ witnesses during cross-examination, is in support of the Commission’s case.