‘Unlike you, I’m not encumbered by drug case, identity crisis,’ Atiku tells Tinubu

‘Unlike you, I’m not encumbered by drug case, identity crisis,’ Atiku tells Tinubu

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said he has been able to run for th

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said he has been able to run for the office of the President of Nigeria since 1993 without any controversy.

According to him, unlike the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, who is encumbered by drugs and identity scandals.

Atiku made the revelations in his response to Tinubu’s and APC’s reply to his petition challenging the process and the outcome of the February 25, 2023 presidential election.

Besides, Atiku said his own identity, comprising age, state of origin and educational qualifications have never been in dispute like those of Tinubu.

Atiku insisted that Tinubu is constitutionally disabled from contesting for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Amongst others, Atiku alleged that Tinubu was unfit to lead Nigeria having been indicted for drug related offences in the United States of America (USA) and made to forfeit a sum of $460,000 as a compromise agreement.

In the response filed by his lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, the PDP presidential candidate justified why the declaration of Tinubu as President-elect cannot stand, adding that against the law, “Tinubu holds dual citizenship of Nigeria and Guinea, having voluntarily acquired the citizenship of the Republic of Guinea.”

Similarly, Atiku accused Tinubu of not disclosing facts of his constitutional qualifications in his Form EC9 submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), contrary to the provisions of the law.

The petitioner while admitting that Tinubu may be a “Titan and a Maestro”, he, however, said that the “President-elect is certainly not a titan and maestro in national stature but in controversies such as age, state of origin, identity, educational qualifications represented by certificates obtained from universities and colleges.”

Apparently reacting to Tinubu’s response in which he described Atiku as a serial election loser, the former Vice President said that Tinubu is a giant in forfeiture, drug related offences and failure to disclose dual nationality to INEC.

“The comparison of the second respondent (Tinubu) with the first petitioner (Atiku) who had attained the eminent position of Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for eight years is totally unfounded,” he said.

Justifying his request for the annulment of the declaration of Tinubu as President-elect, Atiku said that Tinubu and APC never won majority of the lawful votes cast in the February 25 presidential election.

Amongst others, the PDP presidential candidate maintained that Tinubu failed part of the constitutional requirements having failed to secure 25% of the votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, as constitutionally required.

He insisted that the return of Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential election was undue, unlawful and invalid because Tinubu did not meet the constitutional requirements as to qualification.

Rather than addressing the issues raised against him and the disputed election, Atiku said that Tinubu deliberately chose not to answer points of substance in the petition and opted for extraneous facts, contradictory, evasive, speculative and vague assertions.

In reaction to another issue raised against Atiku’s petition, the former Vice President claimed that his petition did not in any way constitute a gross abuse of any court process, adding that the originating summons of February 28, 2023, filed at the Supreme Court by Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta , Edo, and Sokoto States have since been discontinued.