PDP, Atiku deny withdrawing presidential election petition from tribunal

  • Say ‘we’re on course to reclaim mandate’

The Peoples Democratic Party has denied reports that the party and its presidential candidate in the just concluded election of February 25, have withdrawn the petition against the Independent National Electoral Commission, the All Progressives Congress and the President-elect, Bola Tinubu.

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PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, in a series of tweets on Thursday night, on his verified account @OfficialDeboO, described the news report as “mischievous, false and a reprehensible fabrication.” He alleged that the ruling APC masterminded the report.

He said, “Our attention has been drawn to the mischievous report claiming that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar have withdrawn the petition filed against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Presidential Election Tribunal.

“The said report is false and a reprehensible fabrication by the mendacious APC which is disconcerted by the overwhelming evidence against it and our tenacity to reclaim the mandate freely given to the PDP and Atiku Abubakar by Nigerians on February 25, 2023.”

He insisted that neither the PDP nor the candidate, Atiku, had withdrawn the case from the tribunal and narrated what happened, which was erroneously reported.

He stated, “The PDP states in clear terms that our Party and Atiku Abubakar did not withdraw our petition against INEC, APC and Tinubu at the Presidential Election Tribunal.

“However, to set the record straight and for the benefit of our teeming members, supporters and the general public, the PDP clarify as follows;

“On Monday, March 13, 2023, the Legal Team of Atiku Abubakar led by J.K Gadzama, SAN was in court to move a Motion Exparte accompanied by an Affidavit of Urgency (CA/PEC/12M/2023), seeking Orders directing INEC to allow us observe/participate in the process of sorting out the ballot papers used for the Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representatives elections conducted on February 25, 2023 across the country.

“The Court directed that all parties should be put on notice and asked that we amend our Motion Exparte to Motion on Notice, to serve same on the parties (INEC, APC & Bola Ahmed Tinubu) and return on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, for hearing of our Motion on Notice.

“On Tuesday, March 14th, our Legal Team had a conference meeting with the Legal Team of INEC, and the Commission gave its assurance to cooperate with our Team during the inspection and sorting out of ballot papers, and to also provide election materials needed to file our petition

“On account of this agreement with and assurance by INEC, there was no longer need to proceed with the hearing of the Motion on Notice (CA/PEPC/13M/2023). Consequently, our Team filed a Notice of Discontinuance of the said Motion.

“On Wednesday, March 15, 2023, our Legal Team returned to Court to inform the Court of the resolution reached with INEC and formally discontinued the Motion on Notice against all the Parties (INEC, APC & Bola Ahmed Tinubu).”

“The PDP is therefore on course and we are determined to pursue the case to its logical conclusion, which is the retrieval of our Presidential mandate at the Tribunal. The PDP appreciates the concerns of millions of Nigerians over the false report,” Ologunagba noted.

He argued that such a show of concern by many Nigerians validated the claim that the former vice president enjoys an overwhelming support from Nigerians.

“Such concern further points to the fact of the overwhelming support of majority of Nigerians for the PDP and Atiku Abubakar at the February 25, 2023 Presidential election,” he concluded.