Chris Uche (SAN) who is the lead counsel for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar at the presidential election tribunal, and Bauchi state governor-elect, Bala Mohammed at the governorship petition tribunal sitting in Bauchi state has expressed optimism of his clients’ victory in court.
Atiku and his party are challenging the outcome of the election on the grounds of alleged massive rigging, malpractices substantial non-compliance with the electoral laws.
In the petition, Atiku and PDP are asking the tribunal to declare him winner of the February 23 presidential election.
They are also asking the tribunal to nullify the poll and order for a fresh election that will be conducted in line with the provisions of the electoral laws.
According to The Nation, the senior lawyer said all the respondents in Atiku’s cases have all filed their responses.
The respondents, according to him, are President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Uche added that all processes have been exchanged and very soon, there will be commencement of the pre-hearing session with the actual trial coming after that.
He, however, queried the APC for not addressing some of the issues raised in the petition filed by Atiku.
He said: “It is very unfortunate that they have not addressed the issues we raised rather they are raising issues that we feel are mere distractions. Whether Atiku is a Nigerian citizen or not or whether one of the lawyers who signed the petition, whether he abbreviated his name or not.”
“But they are yet to address the issues we raised, mainly the information on the data of INEC, the physical result that INEC gave.
They have not reacted to that and all the anomalies we pointed out. “We are very comfortable and confident with the processes that are before the court of appeal. Very soon, hearing will be commence on that. We are optimistic of victory in both cases.
“Having looked at all the facts in both cases, our positions are very strong, we are very confident of defending the mandate of Atiku and Bala victory and we shall come out victorious.”
Meanwhile, Bala ‘s victory is been challenged by Governor Mohammad Abubakar and the APC over alleged rigging. Uche who spoke at the inauguration of the governor-elect’s legal team in Bauchi, which he heads said Bala has a right to be represented and his mandate defended and protected. On his part, the governor-elect has said he would use every legitimate means at his disposal to defend his electoral mandate.