Friday, January 24, 2020

Supreme Court: Presidency urges PDP take on opposition mandate

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The Buhari Presidency has welcomed the elucidation of the Supreme Court 30 October ruling on the petition by the PDP and Atiku Abubakar’s petitions and urged the Peoples Democratic Party to take up its mandate as the opposition party.

“Now it is time for the PDP to take up the service mandated by this election.The legislative agenda of the ninth assembly is ambitious in both size and scope. It is critical the opposition is there to scrutinise bills and policies, rather than preoccupy themselves with unsustainable court cases”, said Garba Shehu, SSA to the president in a statement appreciating the court for its position.

“We appreciate the PDP and their candidate for taking these claims to courts rather than expressing them in other ways, but now Nigeria needs a robust and rigorous opposition. The nation needs to move on.

Shehu’s statement underscored three salient points of the Supreme Court verdict, among which is that the onus of proof must necessarily fall on those that challenge the vote.

“Allegations must be substantiated if they are to hold, and this requires producing credible witnesses that verify key claims. As the Supreme Court has stated, the case failed this test.
“On the issue of qualifications, President Buhari has a long history of service to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The questioning of this fact seems to fly in the face of all evidence”, Shehu wrote..

“While it is correct to give credit to the courts for affirming this electoral victory-and we commend the courage of the bench to arrive at the right conclusion given manifest and subtle pressures to do otherwise-the reality is that courts were convinced by arguments from the lawyers representing the APC and its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari that results reflected the true wishes of a majority of our citizens.

“President Buhari won four million more votes than his closest rival, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the February poll.

“No serious electoral observers have challenged this result. And now the Supreme Court has explained why the PDP appeal is unsubstantiated. We hope this finally puts the matter behind us.

“We should now grasp this moment to move forward – together”, Shehu added.

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