The Peoples Democratic Party on Thursday faulted the declaration of All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, as the winner of Saturday’s presidential election, insisting that its flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar, won the keenly contested poll.
The main opposition party disclosed this in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba.
The PUNCH reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission declared Tinubu as the president-elect.
Tinubu, a former Lagos State governor, was declared the president-elect after the 70-year-old polled 8,794,726 votes to win the 2023 presidential election.
The INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, announced Tinubu as the winner at the International Collation Centre in Abuja during the early hours of Wednesday.
But the main opposition on Thursday asked the electoral umpire to immediately withdraws the Certificate of Return issued to Tinubu and cancel the presidential election”
The request, the PDP claim, was in line with INEC powers under Section 65 of the Electoral Act 2022.
According to the main opposition party, by declaring Tinubu as winner, INEC acted contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act 2022 and the INEC guidelines and regulations for the conduct of the 2023 presidential election.
The statement read, “The PDP holds that its Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar clearly won the February 25, 2023 Presidential election having evidently scored the majority of lawful votes cast by Nigerians at the Polling Units.
“Sadly, the election was marred by deliberate malpractices including the non-use of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System and INEC’s refusal/failure to transmit directly the results from Polling Units to its Server/Website in flagrant violation of Section 60 (4)(b) of the Electoral Act 2022.
“This violation of the Electoral Act by INEC as attested to by political parties, voters, Nigerians of all walks of life as well as local and International Observers, paved the way for the alteration, falsification, switching of results and allocation of figures in favour of the APC.”
It added, “By refusing therefore to transmit directly the results from the Polling Units, INEC violated the Electoral Act and its Rules and Regulation, compromised the process and marred the integrity and credibility of the election results.
“The PDP, therefore, asserts that consequent upon the violation by INEC of Section 60 (4) of the Electoral Act, 2022 and its Rules and Guidelines on the election, the results announced by the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, having not been earlier transmitted directly from the Polling Units before the announcement are ultra vires, of no consequence and cannot stand.
“Consequently, our party and its presidential candidate have commenced an action for legal redress to reclaim our victory in the 2023 Presidential election.
“We appeal to our numerous supporters in Nigeria and across the world to remain calm, resilient, resolute and steadfast in the defence of democracy and the victory of our Party in the 2023 presidential elections.”