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Tag Archives: Atiku Abubakar

INEC server: Atiku to invite Microsoft, IBM, Oracle experts as witnesses

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, is willing to engage experts from Microsoft, IBM and Oracle to verify his claim that the servers belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) showed that he defeated President Muhammadu Buhari by 1,615,302 votes.

INEC’s polling figures from the 36 states and federal capital territory (FCT) gave Buhari 15,191,847 votes, while Atiku came second with 11,262,978 votes.

But in his petition submitted at the tribunal, the PDP candidate alleged that he garnered a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari, who, according to him, polled 16,741,430 votes in the presidential election held on February 23.

INEC, in response, said the results being paraded by Atiku was fabricated and not from its website.

But in their response to the INEC’s submission, a copy of which was obtained by TheCable, Atiku and the PDP said address of the server from which the results were obtained is unique to INEC.

“The Servers from which the said figures were derived belong to the first Respondent (INEC). The figures and votes were transmitted to the first Respondent’s Presidential Result’s Server 1 and thereafter aggregated in INEC_PRES_RSLT_SRV2019, whose Physical Address or unique Mac Address is 94-57-A5-DC-64-B9 with Microsoft Product ID 00252-7000000000-AA535. The above descriptions are unique to the 15t Respondent’s Server,” they said.

According to PUNCH, Atiku and the PDP would rely on the services of some prominent technology companies to argue the case at the presidential election tribunal.

“The petitioners will at the trial of this petition rely on experts on Microsoft, IBM and Oracle, amongst others,” they added.

Nnamdi Kanu offers to give Atiku legal advice over Cameroon citizenship debate

Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has offered free legal advice to Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Speaking during a broadcast on Radio Biafra, Kanu said Atiku’s defence in court regarding his citizenship is “weak and porous”.

The PDP candidate had gone to court to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election.

But the APC in its defence, told the court Atiku is not a Nigerian by birth and as such, is not qualified to contest the election.

The issue of Atiku’s citizenship was first raised by Kanu in the build up to the 2019 elections.

In his latest broadcast, Kanu said he merely used the issue of “Atiku’s citizenship of Nigeria, via a referendum”, to buttress his point about the need for a referendum on Biafra.

“When I first raised this issue, which incidentally has been ignored by all arms of government including INEC whose duty it is to ensure that candidates meet all stipulated constitutional requirements, it was not to insinuate or imply that Atiku is not a Nigerian, but rather to highlight the very constitutionally critical point at the heart of IPOB agitation for Biafra independence; which is that asking for a referendum is never a crime in any law known to man,” he said.

“However, the weak and porous argument Atiku’s defence team is making in response to this line of attack by APC is to say that, ‘it is ludicrous to allege that a man who became Nigeria’s vice-president, who has lived, invested and paid tax in the country for years is not a citizen.

“This is a wholly unnecessary digression that failed to address the constitutional question of place of birth as key qualification for anybody seeking to become the president of Nigeria. That Atiku was the Vice President is not the issue at hand but rather his suitability as defined by the constitution of Nigeria.”

He said APC putting up the argument in court is a “vindication that everything I say on Radio Biafra is the truth.”

“It may appear outlandish and unbelievable at first, but eventually history always vindicate me. It is now over the Atiku’s team to unleash what they have against Jubril,” he said.

“I will offer free legal advice to Atiku live on air in the hope that they will use it because it is obvious Atiku won the election and APC are deploying all instruments of coercion at the disposal of the Nigerian state to deny him his mandate. Between Atiku and the man occupying Aso Rock, only Atiku is a Nigerian, the other is Sudanese.”

Atiku releases ‘evidence’ of election result from INEC website

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has insisted the result from the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) shows he defeated President Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election.

In his submission to the presidential election tribunal, the former vice president gave the “unique MAC address and Microsoft product ID of the INEC server” from where the results were obtained.

According to the result declared by INEC from the 36 states and the federal capital territory (FCT), Buhari polled 15,191,847, while Atiku came second with 11,262,978 votes.

But in his petition submitted at the tribunal, the PDP candidate claimed he garnered a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari, who, according to him, polled 16,741,430 votes.

INEC, in response, said the results being paraded by Atiku was fabricated and not from its website.

But in their response to the INEC’s submission, a copy of which was obtained by TheCable, Atiku and the PDP said address of the server from which the results were obtained is unique to INEC.

“The Servers from which the said figures were derived belong to the first Respondent (INEC). The figures and votes were transmitted to the first Respondent’s Presidential Result’s Server 1 and thereafter aggregated in INEC_PRES_RSLT_SRV2019, whose Physical Address or unique Mac Address is 94-57-A5-DC-64-B9 with Microsoft Product ID 00252-7000000000-AA535. The above descriptions are unique to the 15t Respondent’s Server,” they said.

“There is no conjecture in the votes and scores in the table pleaded by the Petitioners. The figures are factual. The Spokesperson for the 2nd Respondent’s Campaign Organization openly admitted that the data in question was in the first Respondent’s Server when he wrote and submitted a petition to the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS) asking the Security agencies to investigate the 2nd Petitioner herein for allegedly hacking into the Server of the 1St Respondent and obtaining the data in question.

“Specifically, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, the Spokesperson of the 2nd Respondent claimed in the said petition that it was the first Petitioner who smuggled the data into the Server.”

Atiku and the PDP also alleged the INEC chairman “committed grave errors in the final collation exercise” for the election by “falsely crediting” some persons with political parties, including “Okotie Christopher, Reverend Dr. Onwubuya and Ojinika Jeff Chinze.”

“The grave errors referred to in paragraphs 4 and 5 above were under the hands and signature of the first Respondent’s Chairman, (who was also the Returning Officer) in the conduct of the final collation of the results of the Presidential Election,” they added.

“The Petitioners state that the final results as declared by the first respondent are those that were transmitted online to the website of the first Respondent (www inecnigeria.org).”

Atiku scammed, no poll result on server, says INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission said it never transmitted the 2019 presidential election result on a server as claimed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

The rebuttal was stated in INEC’s reply to the petition filed by Atiku and PDP challenging the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari, as declared by INEC on 27 February.

The commission, which is being represented by Yunus Usman (SAN), as lead counsel, said the results of the poll were never transmitted or collated electronically.

The vehement dismissal of Atiku and PDP’s claim meant that the petitioners must have been scammed to believe that the results were stored electronically.

To be sure, INEC added in its response, that it kept no such server where such electronically transmitted results could have been obtained.

INEC on February 27, 2019, four days after the poll on 23 Februaray, declared that the All Progressives Congress candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, won with 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest rival, Atiku, who polled 11,262,978 votes.

But the petitioners stated that “from the data in the 1st respondent’s (INEC’s) server…the true, actual and correct results” from the “state to state computation” showed that Atiku polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari who they said scored 16,741,430 votes.

They said the results were the total votes scored by the candidates in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, as there was “no report on sever” about the results from Rivers State as of February 25, 2019.

By calculation, Atiku and the PDP claimed to have defeated Buhari by 1,615,302 votes. But the commission, urging the tribunal to dismiss the petition, said in its reply filed on April 10, that the petitioners’ claims were false.

The INEC’s Director, Information and Communications Technology, Mr Chidi Nwafor, in his witness statement on oath attached to the reply, specifically denied the “server results” which the petitioners were laying claim to.

He said all the results were collated manually and were never transmitted electronically.

Atiku disowns ‘Pukka’ billboards, posters in Abuja, Yola

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar has disowned campaign posters titled “The Pukka’’ that festooned some of the major streets of the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.

Atiku disowned the posters in a statement issued by his media adviser, Mr Paul Ibe, on Wednesday.

Pukka, an Hindi word, means “authentic, genuine, sure, solid and excellent”.

The posters boldly carry Abubakar’s portrait and the message, ‘HE Atiku Abubakar GCON, The Real and The Right’, with a web address www.deservation.org, which the News Agency of Nigeria found belongs to a group of the same name based in Magaji/Sanda ward in Yola.

NAN correspondent in Yola confirmed that the posters have also appeared on some streets in the capital of Adamawa, Atiku’s home state.

Dr.Sani Adamu, the director-general of the Atiku Deservation Group, an Atiku Abubakar campaign group, claimed the group was not waging a political campaign or breaching the campaign rules of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“Our attention has been drawn to posters of Abubakar, Presidential candidate of PDP in the 2019 election being circulated in Abuja”, said Paul Ibe in a statement.

“We dissociate the former Vice President of Nigeria from the said posters in circulation. The campaign season is over. The tainted electoral victory by the incumbent is being challenged in court.

“We refuse to be distracted, which is exactly the objective of our opponents, but to remain focused on diligently pursuing our election petition with a view to retrieving the stolen mandate.’’

Ibe earlier in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that the posters had nothing to do with the just concluded elections and the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization had no connection with it.

“I have not seen the posters. I am just hearing it from you. We are not aware of it. Whatever it is it not connected to the PDP campaign organisation.

“The campaign season has long been over but following the electoral hype by the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abubakar, as a democrat has submitted himself to the electoral tribunal to decide on matters arising from the concluded election.’’

A search on the web address (www.deservation.org) shows Atiku Deservation Movement (Project 774 for Atiku 2019) with RC 1167591 with the contact Magaji/Sanda Ward Yola South Adamawa State as well as phone number and a mail address.

The boldness of the campaign and the meaning it connotes have triggered questions whether the group behind it has not breached the electoral law. The campaign for presidential election began on 19 November 2018 and officially ended 48 hours to the election initially scheduled for 16 February, 2019.

Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act, 1999 as amended states that every political party shall commence campaigns 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day.

Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of  the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in an interview with NAN, said that the posters could not be considered as campaign materials.

Oyekanmi, who said he had not seen any of the posters said if a poster has no party logo or name, the commission does not consider it to be campaign materials.

“Is there anything like party name or logo on it? If a poster does not contain any of these or ‘vote for a person’ the commission does not see it as campaign.The election is over and I wonder if anybody will be campaigning for an election that had been concluded,’’ Oyekanmi said.

Dr. Sani Adamu, the Executive Director of the Deservation group in a telephone interview with NAN, justified the poster’s PUKKA theme. He claimed that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the PDP in the just concluded presidential election is Nigeria’s authentic president.

Reminded that Abubakar already has a case before the presidential election petition tribunal, Adamu expressed confidence that Abubakar would get justice at the tribunal.

He insisted that the posters in circulation were not for campaign, adding that they did not carry the logo of any political party.

He also explained that the posters did not carry ‘vote’ Abubakar, insisting that it was not for campaign.

He said that the group was established to galvanise support for credible candidates that can make Nigeria great.

“We support only candidates and not political parties,” he said.

Abubakar was also recently reported to have hired two American lawyers, close to President Donald Trump, to lobby Trump’s inner circle and the Congress, so that the United States can delay recognising President Muhammadu Buhari as the elected President of Nigeria. He also wanted to be recognised ‘as the authentic President’ of Nigeria, going by the claims he has made at the tribunal.

Atiku denies hiring US lobbyist, blames APC for ‘fabrication’

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has denied hiring a US lobbyist firm to advance in his bid to take over power from President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement on Wednesday, Atiku, a former vice-president, said the reports of the alleged contract is a handiwork of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Atiku is at the presidential election tribunal to challenge the declaration of Buhari as winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

According to a report by Centre for Responsive Politics (CRP), Bruce Fein, former justice department official and his firm Fein & DelValle PLLC registered as foreign agents of PDP and Atiku on March 24.

The report said the firm is expected to “encourage Congress and the executive to forbear from a final declaration and recognition of Nigeria’s February 23, 209 presidential election until outstanding legal challenges to the initial government of Nigeria assertion that incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari was the victor are impartially and independently resolved by the supreme court of Nigeria without political or military influence, intimidation or manipulation.”

But in the statement issued on his behalf by Paul Ibe, his spokesman, Atiku dismissed the report as “total fabrication” by the APC, adding that it “didn’t come as a surprise to us because lying has become their only bragging rights of competence.”

The statement added that “since Atiku resisted pressure not to go to court, the APC has been behaving like a cat on hot bricks because the outcome of the 2019 elections has exposed and shattered the facade of their dubious integrity.”

“The APC are behaving nervously like a thief living under the fear of being exposed and shamed; they are now using fake news against Atiku instead of focusing on defending themselves in the court,” the statement read.

“For a party that has broken the worst record in election rigging, the APC doesn’t have any iota of integrity to be taken seriously by anybody.

“Atiku’s court case has become their biggest burden because it exposes their integrity as a sham, and instead of defending their stolen mandate in court, they are now using fake news to divert public attention from the historic electoral heist they have committed against Nigerians.

“No amount of diversionary propaganda and fake news campaign by APC will stop Atiku Abubakar from continuing the court action he started to reclaim the stolen mandate.”

Buhari group asks security agencies to investigate Atiku

The Buhari Media Organisation, BMO on Tuesday asked security agencies to investigate what it described as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar’s “unholy romance with foreign bodies especially the United States of America, in pursuit of a mandate he never had.”

The group which made the call in a statement by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju; and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, accused Atiku of seeking to destabilise the country in a bid to realise his failed presidential ambition.

It claimed that the former vice president had been lobbying the US authorities to recognise him as Nigeria’s President despite his electoral defeat in the February 23 election.

The BMO said Atiku’s action was treasonable with dire consequences. “We had in the past drawn attention to the desperation of the failed PDP presidential candidate to rule Nigeria at all cost, and it is becoming more obvious with his latest gambit.

“Not satisfied with pushing out cooked-up figures which he and his party claimed they got from the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission and are using as the basis of their legal challenge at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, Alhaji Abubakar is now using lobbyists in order to con the United States to his side.

“We at BMO are not surprised because we had raised the alarm even before the election that the PDP elements had been preparing ground for what they called a ‘Venezuelan option’ by instigating the international community against the President Buhari-led administration, and by raising all sorts of false alarms.

“Now that news has filtered out that Atiku has hired some prominent American lawyers to lobby the US Congress and the Executive to recognise him as President, it is shocking that a man who rose to the position of vice president can be engaging in acts that amount to treasonable felony, especially as the legally authorised body in election matters, INEC, declared that he lost the presidential election.”

The group further claimed that increasing insecurity in parts of the country was planned to make President Muhammadu Buhari appear helpless.

It added, “We have seen how banditry has suddenly threatened to spiral out of control in Zamfara State and some other parts of North-Western Nigeria almost immediately after the election.

“These are places that were relatively peaceful before and during the election and which also had a reasonable turn out of voters.

“It should not be a surprise that this spectre of violence is deliberately orchestrated and coordinated as part of a game plan to make the incumbent President look helpless and win US support for the failed PDP presidential candidate who is not even known to be popular in that part of the country.”

The pro-Buhari group urged the US authorities to guard against being used by those it described as unpatriotic Nigerians to work against an election that their representatives in the country had hailed as largely free and fair.

It added that main local election observer groups validated Buhari’s victory as declared by INEC.

Atiku hires new US lobbyists for recognition as ‘president-elect’

Atiku Abubakar, the defeated presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party is not solely casting his lot on his legal challenge of President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in the 23 February election as he has enlisted the assistance of two high-powered Washington, D.C. lawyers.

Their role will be to lobby those in President Donald Trump’s inner circle and the US Congress to delay recognising Buhari as the winner as declared by Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) on 27 February. Instead, Atiku craved to be recognised as the ‘authentic president’ of Nigeria.

In addition, he has set up what he called a “US Situation Room’.

Bruce Fein, a former Justice Department official and his firm Fein & DelValle PLLC and W. Bruce DelValle are the new lobbyists hired by the failed candidate. They were registered as foreign agents on Abubakar’s behalf, according to a report by the Centre for Responsive Politics, a research group that tracks money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. The report was published on opensecrets.org

According to Opensecrets.org, Delvalle, one of the lawyers, has a varied background tackling civil rights and constitutional law issues, litigating intellectual property and liability disputes, along with representing a number of sports and entertainment personalities. Fein on the other hand was the associate deputy attorney general in Ronald Reagan’s administration and general counsel to the FCC. He was reported to have played a significant role in the repeal of the FCC’s “Fairness Doctrine.” He also later worked with then-Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) in drafting articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton.

Atiku’s liaison with the American lawyers is a Nigerian lawyer, Lloyd Ukwu, who was described as the failed candidate’s confidant.

In the run-up to the election and Abubakar’s controversial visit to the United States, weeks to the election, Abubakar and his party hired political consultants such as Riva Levinson, who worked with Paul Manafort, and Brian Ballard, a major Trump fundraiser.

“The filing also asserts that the lobbying effort will demonstrate that an Abubakar presidency is “the will of the People.” It warns that if Abubakar is denied a victory, problems like genocide, poverty, corruption and strife will “undoubtedly continue.”

And when Abubakar visited the United States on 17 January this year, he opted to stay at Trump International Hotel to bolster his standing with Trump, like other foreign leaders seeking Trump’s attention.

Abubakar joins opposition politicians like Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó in turning to lobbyists to garner American support, opensecrets.org reported.

The lobbying agreement notes that Lloyd Ukwu, who is described as “a Nigerian barrister and trusted confidant [of Abubakar],” is assisting “in the operations of the U.S. Situation Room.”

According to the filing under the Foreign Agent Registration Act(FARA), Fein will be paid $30,000 over a 90-day contract to provide “legal, consultancy and public advocacy services to encourage Congress and the Executive” to wait on recognising a winner of the Nigerian election until after the legal challenge is “impartially and independently resolved.”

Opensecrets.org also reported another filing which lays out how the influence campaign will be conducted.

Lobbyists will meet with members of Congress and their staff to persuade them to pass resolutions in the House and Senate “to forebear from a final declaration and recognition of a winner” until after Abubakar’s appeals are decided fairly and independently. Additionally, the firm will “draft articles and op-ed pieces” about the issues surrounding the Nigerian election and appear on television and other media programs.

“In the contract, Fein’s firm is explicit in promising to “obtain official recognition that you are the authentic President of Nigeria based on an accurate counting of legal ballots.” The goal of the effort is straightforwardly described as “to convince the United States that your presidency would open a fresh and new chapter in Nigerian politics.”

“The filing also asserts that the lobbying effort will demonstrate that an Abubakar presidency is “the will of the People.” It warns that if Abubakar is denied a victory, problems like genocide, poverty, corruption and strife will “undoubtedly continue.”

Abubakar’s lobbying gambit may be a waste of energy and resources as the United States already recognised President Buhari as the winner of the 23 February election.

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, in a statement on March 1, congratulated President Buhari and the people of Nigeria for the largely peaceful election.

Pompeo said: “The United States congratulates the people of Nigeria on a successful presidential election, and President Muhammadu Buhari on his re-election.

Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes while Atiku Abubakar polled 11,255,978 votes as runner-up, according to the official result by INEC.

Pompeo added: “We commend all those Nigerians who participated peacefully in the election and condemn those whose acts of violence harmed Nigerians and the electoral process.

“We note the assessments of international and domestic observer missions affirming the overall credibility of the election, despite localised violence and irregularities. We also congratulate all the other candidates for their peaceful participation in the electoral process”.

Abubakar has a rocky legal history in the United States. A Senate subcommittee report on foreign corruption cited him as a case study regarding his transfer of millions of dollars into the U.S. through shell companies. He was never prosecuted.

In 2009, the FBI alleged that Abubakar demanded bribes from former Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), who was convicted of corruption charges. At one point, Jefferson claimed he stored $90,000 in cash for Abubakar in his freezer. That year, a search of Abubakar’s Maryland home, which he had since sold yielded nothing incriminating. But Abubakar never visited the US until his visit on 17 January for 24 hours.

Atiku congratulates Trump over Mueller report

Obasanjo: Those discouraging Atiku from challenging Buhari in court are evil

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says those opposed to the decision of Atiku Abubakar to seek legal redress over the outcome of the presidential election have evil minds.

Atiku, who contested under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lost to President Muhammadu Buhari in the March 23 election.

Speaking on the judgement of the Osun governorship tribunal, Obasanjo said Atiku did the right thing by challenging Buhari’s victory.

He said without a reasonable cause, Buhari went to the court to challenge his loss in three elections, wondering why some people were trying to “stop Atiku from going to court”.

On Friday, the tribunal declared Ademola Adeleke of the PDP  as winner of the September 2018 election in the state.

In a statement on Saturday, Obasanjo said the nullification of the election, which he described as an illegality, has given renewed confidence in the judiciary.

“While I was in Dubai to attend the Global Education and Skills Forum meeting, I received the news of the judgment of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal declaring Senator Ademola Adeleke, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the winner of the 2018 Governorship election in the state,” Obasanjo said.

“Let me take this opportunity to commend the tribunal for its courage in nullifying what was clearly an illegality. This action by the judicial officers, albeit a first step in the legal process, gives renewed confidence in the judiciary at a time when there are coordinated efforts by some political leaders to undermine, if not destroy, it.

“As I have repeatedly said, the world is watching events in Nigeria with keen interest. What we do or do not do right in our electoral process will have implications not just for Nigeria but for Africa and indeed the world. By correcting what was clearly a desperate attempt to change the will of the Osun people, the tribunal has saved Nigeria from great embarrassment and started the process of saving and strengthening our democracy.

“Let me also commend Sen. Adeleke for his statesmanship in going to court to seek justice. This is the right and proper thing to do in any decent society. Going to court must be encouraged and not discouraged as some people are now attempting to do.

“And if Buhari could go to court three times to seek justice, even without reasonable cause, any Nigerian who feels denied of justice must feel free to go to court.

“Those who have conceived and are promoting the narrative that if Atiku Abubakar continues to seek legal redress there will be violence, are evil minds looking for excuse to unleash violence on Nigerians. At no time in history has sustainable peace been built on theft, injustice, corruption and inequity.”

Atiku celebrates PDP’s victory at Osun tribunal

Atiku Abuabakr, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has affirmed his confidence in the judiciary.

Reacting to the victory of Ademola Adeleke, governorship candidate of the PDP in the Osun state governorship election, at the tribunal, Atiku said truly, the judiciary is the last hope of the common man.

The tribunal had revoked the victory of Isiaka Oyetola, incumbent governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September election.

It declared the supplementary election which INEC held as illegal, directing the commission to issue a fresh certificate of return to Adeleke and withdraw the one given to Oyetola.

Atiku congratulated the PDP candidate and commended the judiciary.

“Truly, the judiciary is the last hope of the common man and the defender of our democracy. Congratulations Sen. Ademola Adeleke,” he tweeted.

Atiku is currently at the tribunal to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 election.

INEC had declared Buhari winner of the election, saying he polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat Atiku who had 11,262,978 votes.

Atiku had rejected the result, alleging widespread irregularities. He had asked the tribunal to declare him authentic winner of the election or order that a fresh poll be conducted.

He and his party said data from the server of INEC showed the true and correct results from state to state computation.

He said he garnered a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari, who reportedly polled 16,741,430 votes.

The case is ongoing.

Atiku: How INEC reduced my votes in 31 states

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says data from the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) revealed how his votes were reduced in 31 states and the federal capital territory (FCT).

Atiku made the claim in a petition he and his party filed before the presidential election tribunal.

The PDP candidate said he defeated Buhari with 1,615,302 votes.

He said data from INEC server showed that he actually polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari, who had 16,741,430 votes.

According to the result declared by INEC from the 36 states and the FCT, Buhari polled 15,191,847, while Atiku came second with 11,262,978 votes.

The petitioner said smart card readers deployed by the commission, in addition to accreditation, equally transmitted electronically the results of voting from polling units directly to INEC’s server.

He said the commission published numbers of registered voters before the election but recorded a totally different figure in its Form EC8D (A).

A breakdown of the 174-page document showed the electronic collation of results state by state as of February 25.

In Abia state, the petition said Atiku recorded 664,659 votes in the electronic results from the server, against the 219,698 votes recorded by the commission.

In Adamawa, 646,080 votes, instead of 410,266; Akwa Ibom 587,431 votes, instead of 395,832; Anambra 823, 668 votes, instead of 524,738; Bayelsa 332, 618 votes, instead of 197, 933; Benue 529,970 votes, instead of 356, 817; Borno 281,897 votes, instead of 71, 788; Cross River 572, 220 votes, instead of 295, 737 recorded by the commission.

In other states, the document said Atiku had 778,369 votes in Delta, instead of 594, 068; in Ebonyi 565, 762 instead of 258, 573; Edo 677,937, instead of 275,691; Enugu 698,119 instead of 355,553; FCT 419,724 against 259,997; Gombe 684,077 against 138,484; Imo 485,627 against 334,923; Jigawa 539,522 against 289,895; Kaduna 961,143 against 649,612; Kano 522,889 against 391,593; Katsina 160,203.

Kebbi 493,341 against 154,282; Kogi 504,308 against 218,207; Kwara 353,173 against 138,184; Lagos 1,103,297 against 448,015; Nasarawa 344,421 against 283,847; Niger 576,308 against 218,052; Ogun 438,099 against 194,655; Ondo 451,779 against 275,901; Oyo 527,873 against 366,690; Sokoto 552,172 against 361,604; Taraba 442,380 against 374,743; Yobe 306,841 against 50,763 and Zamfara 379,022 against 125,123.

However, the petition said that the commission inflated the scores of the party in Osun and Plateau states. The document said the party recorded 337,359 votes in the data available in the server, but the commission credited the party with 337,377 votes; likewise in Plateau, the party garnered 273,031 votes, against the 548,665 recorded by INEC in its final collation.

PDP: Data from INEC’s server showed Atiku defeated Buhari with 1.6 million votes

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has claimed that he defeated President Muhammadu Buhari by 1,615,302 votes.

According to Punch, Atiku made the claim in a petition he and his party filed before the presidential election tribunal.

The  newspaper quoted the petitioners as saying data from the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) shows the true and correct results from state to state computation.

In the 139-page document, they said Atiku garnered a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari, who reportedly polled 16,741,430 votes.

They said the results were the total votes scored by the candidates in 35 states and the federal capital territory (FCT), Abuja, since there was no report on the sever showing results from Rivers state as of February 25, 2019.

According to the result declared by INEC from the 36 states and the FCT, Buhari polled 15,191,847, while Atiku came second with 11,262,978 votes.

Atiku had rejected the result, alleging widespread irregularities. He had asked the tribunal to declare him authentic winner of the election or order that a fresh poll be conducted.

Relying on 50 sets of documents, the petition listed INEC as its first respondent, Buhari and the APC as the second and third respondents.

The petition also raised the allegation that Buhari was unqualified to vie for the presidential election considering that he did not possess the minimum qualification of a school certificate as required by the constitution.

“The 2nd respondent (Buhari) was not duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast at the election,” the petition read.

“The election of the 2nd respondent is invalid by reason of corrupt practices.

“The election of the 2nd Respondent is invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).

“The 2nd respondent was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the said election.

“The 2nd respondent submitted to the 1st Respondent an affidavit containing false information of a fundamental nature in aid of his qualification for the said election.”

PDP to Buhari: Atiku will soon reclaim his stolen mandate

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to stop “gloating” as Atiku Abubakar, its candidate in the presidential election, will soon reclaim his “stolen mandate” at the tribunal.

The party was reacting to Buhari’s statement that the PDP still had questions to answer on how it spent the huge resources that accrued to the country from oil sales between 1999 and 2015.

In a statement on Friday, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesman, said it is Buhari that has some explanations to give concerning how some monies were spent under him.

According to the statement, Buhari’s “renewed attack” on the PDP is a ploy by the president to “divert public attention from the overwhelming evidence that he rigged the elections.”

“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charges President Muhammadu Buhari to stop gloating and showboating on Nigerians with the stolen 2019 Presidential mandate, as the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar would soon retrieve it from him at the tribunal,” the opposition party said.

“The party further describes President Buhari’s renewed attack and blame game on PDP administrations as a lame attempt to divert public attention from the overwhelming evidence that he rigged the elections, as well as from the plots by his Presidency to obstruct the clear winner, Atiku Abubakar, from going to the tribunal to reclaim the mandate freely given to him by Nigerians.

“It indeed speaks volumes that President Buhari, in his claimed integrity and anti-corruption stance, is grandstanding over the violent rigging of the elections and his attempt to foist himself into a second term in office on the pedestal of stolen votes.

“President Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) should know that the PDP and Nigerians are focused and will not be distracted by any sort of blackmail in the pursuit of the mandate and we are confident that our justices will never allow an illegitimate government to sit over the affairs of our dear nation.

“Moreover, if anybody has a question to answer on the administration of the nation’s resources, it is President Buhari, who has not been able to offer any explanation on the looting of over N14 trillion from revenue generating agencies in a space of three years under his direct supervision.

“We ask; was it the PDP that siphoned over N9 trillion, through underhand contracts, as detailed in the leaked NNPC memo, in the same sector President Buhari directly supervises as Minister of Petroleum Resources?

“President Buhari must note that Nigerians are no longer interested in his incompetence and blame game and this is the very reason they voted massively against him on February 23. He should therefore end his diversionary tactics and get ready to meet the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in court.”

Atiku had challenged the outcome of the election which he said was rigged to favour Buhari in court.

On Thursday, a court of appeal ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow him access to all the electoral materials used during the process.

Channel money for litigation to orphanages, Satguru Maharaji tells Atiku

Founder of One Love Family, Satguru Maharaj Ji, has counselled the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, to spend on orphanages instead of giving money to lawyers to contest the results of the February 23 presidential election.

Maharaj, who also predicted victory for the governorship candidates of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos and Oyo states, said the PDP wasted the country’s resources and did not deserve another chance at governance.

The religious leader spoke during an exclusive chat with our correspondent on Thursday.

While urging the Federal Government to provide adequate security at polling booths, he asked Nigerians to vote for leaders who would move their states forward.

He said, “There is no need for anybody going to court.

“The money Atiku has, he should take it to motherless babies’ homes and rehabilitation centres instead of giving it to lawyers.

“I want Nigerians to exercise their franchise on Saturday peacefully. They should be security conscious.

“In the past, Nigerians were deprived of their rights to elect their leaders. With the government in place now, I believe we have the chance to choose freely.

“This is our chance to vote out poverty, looting, terrorism and all kinds of unproductive attitude in our society.”

He said he believed that the Lagos APC governorship candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, will win.

Maharaj Ji noted that the PDP did not have the goodwill to remove the ruling party in Lagos.

“I don’t know why we are mentioning the PDP. For 16 years, they held us to ransom.

“From what I see through the spirit of the ancestors, Sanwo-Olu will win. Even if you go to Oyo State, the APC candidate will win.

“This is because the country is fed up with double dealers; people who steal our economy and turn it upside down. They don’t care what you eat or drink. We don’t want them. We want the same law for everybody,” he added.

He condemned the practice of vote-buying, appealing to Nigerians to shun any politician who offers them money in exchange for their votes.

Atiku asks voters to choose PDP … Gbenga Daniel endorses APC in Ogun

Otunba Gbenga Daniel, former director-general of the Atiku Abubakar presidential campaign organisation, has endorsed Dapo Abiodun, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun state, for Saturday’s election.

In a statement on Thursday, Daniel directed his supporters to vote for Abiodun.

He gave the directive shortly after Atiku appealed to Nigerians to vote en masse for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the governorship and national assembly elections.

Atiku made the appeal in a video widely circulated on social media.

Atiku Abubakar

@atiku

I express my profound gratitude for the massive votes you gave my party – the PDP, during the Presidential and National elections. As we move to the governorship & state elections on March 9, I urge you to come out in larger numbers to peacefully vote for PDP, from top to bottom.

3,956 people are talking about this

But Daniel who is not on the same page with Buruji Kashamu, governorship candidate of the PDP, has pitched his tent with Abiodun.

Daniel had backed Ladi Adebutu who lost the PDP gubernatorial ticket to Kashamu.

“My Dear compatriots, and members of Remo Resource & R Centre: you would have noticed my studied silence in our local politics in recent times, he said in a statement.

“I have busied myself with national politics having served the state for 8 years. I have also been very busy supporting the ambition of the son of our great philantropist in Remoland to become the next governor of our dear state.

“You however would have become aware of the court decision yesterday which did not favour him. Going forward, I have directed all our structures statewide to cast all their votes on Saturday for Prince Dapo Abiodun, another bona fide Remo son despite current party differences.

“I therefore enjoin all to please go and cast your vote on Saturday for Dapo Abiodun in the overall interest of our people. With best regards.”

The Ogun election will end as one of the most interesting, given the fact that the two major parties are fraught with internal crisis.

Adekunle Akinlade, preferred candidate of Ibikunle Amosun, the incumbent governor, had defected to the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) after losing the APC ticket.

Amosun, who won the Ogun central senatorial election under APC, has mobilised his structure for Akinlade.

Court orders INEC to allow Atiku access all electoral materials

The Court of Appeal has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to access all electoral materials in the presidential elections.

A three-man panel of the court gave the order based on an ex-parte motion filed by the PDP and Atiku seeking an order granting them access to inspect the electoral materials used for the February 23 polls.

Atiku and his party had prayed for an order compelling INEC to allow them to inspect the register and other vital documents used in the conduct of the election unhindered.

In delivering its ruling, the panel ordered INEC to allow the appellant access to all electoral material to enable the applicant file and maintain an electoral petition.

However, the court refused prayers 3 to 5 which sort scanning and forensic audit, saying a forensic audit does not fall under the terms envisaged by section 151 of the electoral act.

The panel agreed unanimously to the ruling, hence, the motion was granted in part.

Abdul Aboki, Peter Ige and Emmanuel Agim were members of the panel.

No man alive has contributed more to Nigeria than Obasanjo, says Atiku

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has described ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo as one of the greatest Nigerians alive.

While felicitating with the former president on his 82nd birthday, Atiku said no Nigerian alive has done as much as Obasanjo did for the country.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate said, who served as Obasanjo’s deputy for eight years, also wished him good health and continued service to the nation.

Writing via his Twitter handle on Tuesday, he said: “A very happy 82nd birthday to you, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. No living Nigerian has given as much to Nigeria in peacetime and in war as you have.

“May almighty God grant you many more years in good health and continued service to Nigeria and the world at large.”

Atiku fell out with Obasanjo during his second term in office.

His reported presidential ambition had pitched him against Obasanjo who was said to be nurturing a third term in office.

The duo, however, reconciled in the build up of the presidential election after Obasanjo endorsed him.

EFCC: We arrested Atiku’s son-inlaw over money laundering

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it arrested Babalele Abdullahi, son-inlaw of  Atiku Abubakar over alleged money laundering.

Abdullahi is also the finance director of  Atiku’s group of companies.

Tony Orilade, acting spokesman of EFCC, told NAN that Abdullahi is in the commission’s custody.

“We are investigating a case of money laundering against Abdullahi. We shall speak at the appropriate time,” Orilade said.

He declined to disclose the figure involved in the laundering allegation against Abdullahi, but NAN said its investigation revealed that it was about 150 million Euros.

A few days ago, Atiku  raised the alarm over the arrest of Abdullahi.

In a statement by his Paul Ibe, his media aide, Atiku said EFCC operatives invaded Abdullahi’s residence in a “desperate move” to make him concede and congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he lost the election to.

“The EFCC agents numbering about two dozen came in two regular vehicles, an 18-seater Toyota bus with registration number Abuja CS 522 RSH and a Hilux van,” the statement read.

“They came with a warrant to search the house and office of Abdullahi and found nothing incriminating.

“They then proceeded to his office at Oakland Centre in Maitama and found nothing incriminating there.

“However, they took away some documents of landed property. Not done, the EFCC officials stormed his Wuse residence where they again found nothing incriminating after searching.

“Afterwards, Abdullahi was taken away to the EFCC office in Wuse to make a statement.”

Atiku: An omen worse than defeat, by Azu Isheikwene

 

As the final results of last week’s presidential poll were released, three broad groups emerged: Those genuinely surprised that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, lost; those in pretentious denial of his defeat; and those in a quandary because they hoped to profit from a stalemate.

The first group comprise those who expected that the electoral math would be significantly affected by the farmer-herdsmen clashes in the Middle Belt; the fragile economic recovery and job losses; the widespread feeling of a captive government; and, finally, the shambolic party primaries.

Atiku in Adamawa. Credit: Facebook

The opposition, actively supported by a few vocal religious leaders and a section of the business elite, hammered the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on these points throughout the campaign that it seemed February 23 would deliver the final nail in President Muhammadu Buhari’s political coffin.

If the leadership of the APC was sufficiently threatened by the potential pitfalls ahead, it didn’t show it. On the contrary, the public faces of the party’s three most dangerous politicians – Nasir El-Rufai, Rotimi Amaechi and Adams Oshiomhole – kept stoking the fires.

In what must have come as a rude shock to those genuinely surprised by Buhari’s reelection, however, he lost only marginally to Atiku in Benue with 7,587 votes and, for the first time, won in Nasarawa, a traditional stronghold of the opposition. He lost in the North Central by 104,239 votes (less than one per cent of the votes he scored in 2015), but it was his second-best performance in five races so far, defying the Armageddon predicted.

Why? In a contest in which the two leading candidates were Hausa-Fulani, the whispering campaign in many religious circles that the Hausa-Fulani is the worst evil that has befallen the region since Satan, didn’t seem to make much sense. Voters probably decided that Buhari was the lesser of two evils, ignoring clerics who had begged them, on their knees, to vote otherwise.

Also, the demographic changes in the region may have strengthened the Hausa-Fulani population and significantly improved its voting power. In Kwara, Abuja took the three-and-a-half-year-old war with Senate President Bukola Saraki to his doorstep in Ilorin, stoking a catastrophic “Otoge” rebellion against the Saraki dynasty; while in Makurdi, voters didn’t seem sufficiently impressed with Governor Samuel Ortom’s identity politics to give Buhari the resounding rejection the governor campaigned for.

Those in pretentious denial of Atiku’s defeat have a different problem. They built a castle of myths and could not bear to see their fancies crumble. One of such myths was that the perception of Atiku as a corrupt politician and the PDP as a crooked party would not stick.

It’s not their fault. In some respects, the poor choices of Buhari’s government in the last four years created a situation where some said they would rather have a corrupt government than an incompetent one.

But this moral equivalence is superficial. As I said in a piece entitled, “Buhari v. Atiku: The inconvenient truth,” published on February 15, trust was at stake and on that score, Atiku did not lose on Saturday: “He already lost in 2006 when he fell out spectacularly with Obasanjo and suffered a Humpty Dumpty’s fall. The sum of the ongoing feverish endorsements and lobbying, the extravagant claims of momentum and the fantasy electoral maps would be insufficient to stitch his candidacy together forever again. He’s done.”

And there, hopefully, goes the myth that Nigerians care less about corruption than they do about competence.

Yet the deniers will not stop there. Given how poorly Buhari is perceived in the South East, it was expected that he would probably perform worse than he did in 2015, when he got 198,248 votes in the five South Eastern states. Atiku was expected to bury Buhari in a tsunami of Igbo vote.

I had warned in an article on January 1, entitled, “2019: Facts, fiction, myths, and what matters”, that the myth of a Buhari electoral disaster in the South East was exaggerated. But deniers turned a deaf ear especially after Atiku picked former Governor Peter Obi as running mate. It was comfort medicine for the elite to ignore the facts, but ordinary Igbo people know that even their own kith and kin in Abuja have not served them better in the last 20 years.

Governors control the purse strings of the parties and have significant influence on where and how the votes go. It’s true that Buhari has not overcome the perception of Igbo prejudice. But in the last four years, he has managed to deepen his alliances with a number of governors and influencers in the South East. The result is an improvement in his performance from 198,248 in 2015 to 403,242 this year, when a spectacular defeat was widely predicted.

There, is also, of course, the myth of the influential retired army generals. Following former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s endorsement of Atiku, it was taken for granted that from then on, Atiku was president-in-waiting; which was, in fact, how Obasanjo addressed him, and he was not laughing.

The political graveyard is littered with the remains of former top political officers that Obasanjo has fallen out with, former President Goodluck Jonathan being the most recent casualty. So, when Obasanjo and Buhari fell out, with General T.Y. Danjuma, former military president Ibrahim Babangida and Aliyu Gusau all lining up behind the Otta chicken farmer, it seemed Buhari’s fate was sealed.

Deniers who indulged themselves in this expired tale refused to see the writing on the wall. Obasanjo has had his moment, but he obviously didn’t know when it ended. Nigeria is sick and tired of a self-appointed oracle who thinks it’s his business to tell us who should lead us and when.

Not only that, Obasanjo also thinks it’s his prerogative to decide how long every president must stay in office, and then goes on to judge the next man by a measure of success which he did not achieve in his 11 years of being in charge.

Deniers may continue to worship at Obasanjo’s shrine, but voters who have seen through his decades of hypocrisy and opportunism decided it was time to send the world’s most restless busybody former president on forced retirement.

Obasanjo also belongs to the third group – those who hoped to profit from a stalemate in Saturday’s election. Whatever he may have said about Atiku publicly or told him privately, it’s doubtful if Obasanjo loves Atiku more than he loves Buhari. How could he seriously believe that Atiku would win after damaging his former deputy consistently for 13 years only to seduce him with endorsement three months to a major election?

In any case, how will an Atiku presidency benefit an Obasanjo who puts himself first, centre and last? The profiteer from and mastermind of many stalemates was probably hoping for another stalemate over which he could have become the arbiter in deciding who takes over next on his own terms. But that was not to be.

Whatever Obasanjo could not get from Buhari who he once described as “smart, educated and experienced”, Atiku would have had to sell Nigeria to provide it, a transaction that voters right down to Obasanjo’s polling unit, rejected outright.

Atiku has fought a good fight. No challenger has come so close in the last five election cycles in Nigeria. He should have called it a day before the final results were announced, instead of indulging the judicial wing of the stalemate army, a wing that is currently in fortuitous disarray.

One lesson Jonathan taught Nigeria is that you don’t have to win to be victorious. And it was just like yesterday when one unexpected phone call from him to Buhari put the critics, the deniers and the stalemate army out of business.

Atiku missed that chance. And it could prove worse than his defeat.

Ishiekwene is Publisher/Editor-in-chief of The Interview magazine