Extra: The campaign to stop Atiku from challenging Buhari’s re-election is uncalled for – Falana
Human Right Lawyer, Femi Falana says the campaign by some eminent Nigerians to stop the Presidential candidate of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar from challenging the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari was totally uncalled for.
In a statement on Tuesday, Falana noted that nobody stopped President Buhari from challenging the presidential election in 2003, 2007 and 2011.
According to him, The chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomole and other APC leaders had to claim thier mandate from the court.
He maintained that the failure of the PDP and APC-led Federal Government to reform the electoral process has created insurmountable legal obstacles for election petitioners.
“The campaign that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar should not seek redress is totally uncalled for.” He noted
“Aggrieved by the general elections of 2003, 2007 and 2011 conducted by INEC, Candidate Muhammadu Buhari sought redress in court.
“The chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomole and other APC leaders have had cause to claim their mandate through the court.
“Even some APC members who lost the just-concluded National Assembly elections have announced plans to challenge the return of their opponents by INEC.
“Therefore, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar should not be blackmailed or begged by any group of people not to challenge the presidential election held in the country on February 23, 2019.
“Regrettably, however, the failure of the PDP and APC-led Federal Government to reform the electoral process has created insurmountable legal obstacles for election petitioners,
“The frustration of election petitioners has been compounded by several judicial authorities”, with some decisions holding that “an election cannot be questioned on grounds of corrupt practices.
“For instance, a petitioner is required to prove that there is substantial non-compliance and that the non-compliance has substantially affected the results of the election.
“In Yussuf v Obasanjo, it was held that an election cannot be questioned on grounds of corrupt practices.
“In Falae v Obasanjo it was held that it has to be proved that financial inducement was authorised by the winner of an election.
“In Buhari v Obasanjo it was held that the onus of proving electoral malpractice rests on the petitioner.
“Several fraudulent elections have been upheld under the doctrine of substantial compliance.
“In several cases, winners of fraudulent elections that were annulled were allowed to take part in rerun elections ordered by the courts.” he added