Former vice president and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has said he remains a proud politician who have contested for the presidency since 1993 without being encumbered in any scandals and controversies like the president elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He specifically stated that his identity, age, state of origin and educational qualifications has never been a subject of controversy like Tinubu who is a giant in drug cases and other scandals.
The former vice president stated this in his response to Tinubu and APC’s reply to his petition against the process and outcome of the February 25 presidential election.
In a veiled response to Tinubu’s reference to him as a serial election loser, Atiku said the former Lagos governor is a giant in forfeiture, drug related offences and failure to disclose dual nationality to INEC.
In his response filed by his counsel, Chief Chris Uche, Atiku among others, contended that Tinubu was unfit to govern the country having been indicted for drug related offences in the United States of America and made to forfeit a sum of $460,000 as a compromise agreement.
He maintained that Tinubu was not a fit and proper person to rule the country on the grounds of his dual citizenship of Nigeria and Guinea which he voluntarily acquired.
In addition, Atiku accused Tinubu of not disclosing facts of his constitutional qualifications in his Form EC9 submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), contrary to the provisions of the law.
While he admitted that Tinubu may be a “Titan and a Maestro”, he, however, said that the “President-elect is certainly not a titan and maestro in national stature but in controversies such as age, state of origin, identity, educational qualifications represented by certificates obtained from universities and colleges.
“The comparison of the second respondent (Tinubu) with the first petitioner (Atiku) who had attained the eminent position of vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for eight years is totally unfounded.”
Atiku who reinstated his resolve to nullify the election, insisted that Tinubu and APC never won majority of the lawful votes cast in the February 25 presidential election.
Amongst others, the PDP presidential candidate maintained that Tinubu failed part of the constitutional requirements having failed to secure 25 per cent of votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, as constitutionally required.
He insisted that the return of Tinubu as winner of the 2023 presidential election was undue, unlawful and invalid because he did not meet the constitutional requirements as to qualification.
He stated that rather than addressed the issues raised in the petition against him, Tinubu deliberately chose not to answer points of substance in the petition and opted for extraneous facts, contradictory, evasive, speculative and vague assertions.
In reaction to another issue raised against Atiku’s petition, the former vice president claimed that his petition did not in any way constitute a gross abuse of any court process, adding that the originating summons of February 28, 2023, filed at the Supreme Court by Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta , Edo, and Sokoto states have since been discontinued.
At any rate, Atiku said parties in the suit of the six PDP controlled states were not the same in his own petition and therefore prayed the Tribunal to discountenance the objections and averments raised against the petition by Tinubu and grant him and all the reliefs sought in the petition.
Meanwhile, media aide to Atiku Abubakar, Mr. Paul Ibe, said the only thing common between Atiku and Tinubu is the year 1993.
He said while it was the year that Atiku started his presidential campaign run, it was also the same year Tinubu fell to the US justice system over his indictment and conviction for drug trafficking and money laundering for which he forfeited a whopping sum of $460,000.