It has been reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said Atiku Abubakar’s lawyer is not licensed to practice in Nigeria.
The Cable reports that the electoral commission asked the tribunal to strike out the petition filed by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying it was not signed by a legal practitioner licensed to practise in Nigeria.
Recall that Atiku had filed a petition before the presidential election tribunal to challenge the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari. The PDP presidential candidate’s legal team is led by Livy Uzoukwu with 31 other lawyers. Speaking with reporters in March, Uzoukwu had said the legal team of the PDP presidential candidate had sufficient fact to back its case.
In its response as the first respondent in the case, INEC said the petition was not signed by a legal practitioner enrolled in the Supreme Court of Nigeria. “That the Petitioner’s Petition, List of Witnesses and List of Documents as filed are incompetent and ought to be struck out as same were not signed by a legal practitioner enrolled in the Supreme Court of Nigeria and licensed to practise in Nigeria,” read INEC’s response to Atiku’s petition.
The electoral umpire, therefore, prayed that the petition be struck out for lack of competence. In a response filed at the tribunal on Thursday, April 11 in Abuja, the electoral umpire had accused Atiku of manufacturing results of the last presidential election to prove his case at the presidential election petitions tribunal. Atiku had earlier released election result which he claimed to have gotten from the commission’s server.
His legal team submitted the sheet at the tribunal in March, claiming it was obtained from an internal compilation of results on INEC’s internet server. Amongst other submissions, the legal team alleged that Atiku won by more than six million votes and accused INEC of manipulating his victory in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari.
This report is coming in after it was reported that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the 2019 polls, Atiku Abubakar, has challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to disprove his “factual” submission that the February 23 presidential election was fraught with irregularities.
Atiku, in a statement by his media aide, Paul Ibe, yesterday, said the fact that the APC chose to base its defence at the Election Petition Tribunal on the claim that Atiku is not a Nigerian is an admission that they trampled on the will of the people during the presidential poll, adding that the tribunal would treat the citizenship claim with the contempt “it deserves”.
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