Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says he asked his lawyers to appeal the judgement of the presidential election petition tribunal.
Last night, PEPT dismissed Atiku and his party’s petitions and held that President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the February 25 presidential poll.
Speaking at a press conference at PDP headquarters in Abuja on Thursday, Atiku said he was disappointed by the ruling of the appeal court.
“I am here today to give my official reaction to the judgment delivered yesterday by the Presidential Election Petition Court on the 2023 presidential election.
“As you already know, I approached the court following the declaration by INEC that the APC and its candidate are the winners of the February 25, Presidential Election. My decision to go to court is anchored in my belief that the court is the sanctuary of justice,” Atiku said.
“The journey of my political career, as you know, holds so much to the courage and fearless decisions of our judiciary. Indeed, I am no stranger to legal battles, and I can say that I have a fair idea of how the court system works. All through my career as a politician, I have been a fighter, and I must say that I have found the judiciary as a worthy pillar to rest on in the pursuit of justice.
He said the last presidential election was managed by the Independent National Electoral Commission and left behind unenviable precedents, saying he believes the courts have a duty to redress.
“Our gains in ensuring transparent elections through the deployment of technology was heavily compromised by INEC in the way it managed the last presidential election, and I am afraid that the judgement of the court as rendered by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal yesterday, failed to restore confidence in our dreams of free and fair elections devoid of human manipulations.
“Like I did say at the beginning of this legal battle when I instructed my lawyers to file my petition challenging the outcome of the presidential election, my ultimate goal in this pursuit is to ensure that democracy is further strengthened through the principles and processes of fair hearing.
Atiku said the decision of the court utterly falls far short of his expectations.
“I am therefore here to tell you that, though the judgment of the court yesterday is respected, it is a judgment that I refuse to accept. I refuse to accept the judgment because I believe that it is bereft of substantial justice.
“However, the disappointment in the verdict of the court can never destroy my confidence in the judiciary. Consequently, I have asked my lawyers to activate my constitutionally guaranteed rights of appeal to the higher court, which, in the instance, is the Supreme Court,” the former vice president noted.
He added that the only way the country’s democracy can have a manifest expression of its true meaning is when the electoral process is devoid of untidy manipulations and the outcome of every election truly reflects the wishes of the electorate.
Atiku urges his supporters to remain steadfast.