Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has advised Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi to dump their bid to challenge Wednesday’s verdict of Presidential Election Petition Tribunal affirming the victory of Bola Tinubu of All Progressives Congress, APC.
Wike spoke on Channels Television said this in reaction to announcements by Obi and Atiku that they will challenge the dismissals of their challenge to the declaration of Tinubu as winner of 2023 presidential election by the PEPC.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC had declared Tinubu the winner of the 2023 presidential election, described as the most competitive ever in Nigeria with 8.79m votes.
Atiku and Obi came second and third respectively among the 18 candidates that contested the election with 6.98m and 6.1m votes.
On Wednesday, the five-man panel of PEPC led by Justice Haruna Tsammani dismissed the petitions of the two candidates over the failure of the petitioners to provide proofs that the election was marred by irregularities and that Tinubu was not qualified to participate in it.
But at different press conferences on Thursday, Atiku and Obi said they would challenge the victory of the PEPC at the Supreme Court.
However, Wike a lawyer, said the PEPC only “affirmed” the will of Nigerians while commending the PEPC for affirming Tinubu’s victory.
He accused the opposition candidates of relying on propaganda and social media to win their cases at the PEPC instead of presenting evidence and facts.
The Minister who said he sat down to watch the live transmission of the PEPC judgment for over 10 hours commended the PEPC judges for the painstaking manner they dealt with the petitions.
“I sat down for not less than 10 hours. Look at how the justices painstakingly took each item one by one, from the preliminary objections to the motions, down to the objections on documents and exhibits, down to substantial issues,” the minister said.
He also accused Obi of hypocrisy, noting that the LP candidate did not take issues with the judiciary when he was able to retrieve his mandate as governor of Anambra State through the Supreme Court in 2007.
“Did Peter Obi not win at the Supreme Court when he was removed as governor? Did he pay a bribe? Let him tell the world now,” Wike said.
“When he was removed as a governor, did he not reclaim his mandate at the Supreme Court? Judiciary was right but now that the decision happened, the judiciary is wrong.”
Wike also said he supported Tinubu rather than Obi and Atiku in the presidential election because he knew the LP candidate cannot win the February 25 presidential election.
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