Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) nominee for president in 2023, has been criticized by PDP presidential contender Atiku Abubakar for never being constitutionally qualified to hold the office.
In addition, Atiku claims that, unlike Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the president-elect, he has been able to run for president of Nigeria since 1993 without encountering any difficulty since he has never been involved in a drug or identity scandal.
The former vice president’s remarks were included in a reaction to Tinubu’s and the APC’s answer to his petition contesting the conduct and result of the presidential election on February 25.
Atiku responded to the president-elect’s statement that Tinubu was a “serial election loser,” saying that Tinubu was “constitutionally disabled” from running for president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
According to Atiku, Tinubu is a giant when it comes to forfeiture, drug-related offenses, and failing to inform INEC of his dual nationality. Atiku added that, unlike Tinubu, his personal identification, including his age, state of origin, and educational background, has never been a subject of debate.
The PDP candidate said that Tinubu is unqualified to lead Nigeria since he was charged with drug-related crimes in the USA and ordered to forfeit $460,000 as part of a compromise arrangement.
The PDP presidential candidate explained why Tinubu’s declaration as the next president cannot stand in the response submitted by his lead attorney, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), and added that it is illegal for Tinubu to hold dual citizenship of Nigeria and Guinea because he voluntarily acquired the citizenship of the Republic of Guinea.
Additionally, he charged Tinubu with breaking the law by failing to disclose information about his constitutional credentials in his Form EC9 submission to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Atiku argued that Tinubu and the APC never received a majority of the valid votes cast in the presidential election on February 25 in support of his motion to have the declaration of Tinubu as the winner.
The PDP presidential candidate claimed, among other things, that Tinubu fell short of some constitutional requirements since he was unable to win 25% of the votes cast in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as required by the constitution.
He argued that Tinubu did not match the constitutional conditions for qualification, hence declaring Tinubu the victor of the 2023 presidential election was unfair, illegal, and illegitimate.
Atiku claimed that Tinubu purposefully chose not to respond to substantive points in the petition and instead opted for inconsistent and hazy facts rather than addressing the accusations made against him and the disputed election.
The former vice president responded to another objection made to Atiku’s petition by asserting that it did not in any way represent a gross abuse of any legal procedure and that the originating summons from February 28, 2023, filed at the Supreme Court by the states of Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, and Sokoto, have since been discontinued.
In his own petition, he added that the parties in the case brought by the six PDP-controlled states are not the same. He therefore pleaded with the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to disregard Tinubu’s objections and averments and grant him all the reliefs he had requested.