People’s Democratic Party’s candidate’s in Nigeria’s last presidential election Atiku Abubakar has inaugurated a legal team that will challenge the victory of the incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress in court.
Abubakar lost to Buhari in the election held on February 23.
In the final tally announced by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, Buhari polled 15, 191, 847 votes while Abubakar, a former Nigerian vice president between 1999 and 2007, got 11, 262, 978 votes.
Abubakar, a former ally of President Buhari, led a motley pack of challengers, most of whom posed no serious obstacle to Buhari’s re-election.
The main challenger, however, rejected the results and vowed to seek redress at the election petition tribunal. He described the election as a “sham” and queried the figures announced by INEC.
The inauguration of his legal team, headed by Dr Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), on Saturday, was in furtherance of that vow, his media aide Paul Ibe said in a statement.
“I have just inaugurated my legal team and charged them with the responsibility of ensuring that our stolen mandate is retrieved,” Abubakar said in the statement.
“I am encouraged by the presence of fearless men and women of the Bench.
“The judiciary which had in the past discharged itself ably is once again being called upon to deliver judgement on this matter that will be untainted by lucre and uncowed by the threat of immoral power.”
But Buhari Campaign insisted that the results announced by the electoral body between Tuesday and Wednesday were indicative of the trust the voters have in the president.
The election outcome was also endorsed by the international community.
“The result declared by the Nigerian election commission is consistent with the result obtained through the civil society Parallel Vote Tabulation process. Along with our international partners, the UK believes the Nigerian people can have confidence in the result,” said Harriett Baldwin, UK’s minister of state for Africa.