Renowned lawyer, Olisa Agbakoba, says it is almost impossible for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, PDP presidential candidate in the Feb 23, 2019 election, to upturn the result of the vote in court.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC winner of the election with 15,191,847 votes cast.
Buhari’s major challenger, Abubakar, polled 11,262,978 votes to come second in the race.
Buhari defeated Abubakar with a margin of 3,928,869 votes, according to the electoral commission.
Abubakar has vowed to challenge his loss in court, while promising that the nation's judicial process will eventually hand him victory.
The PDP presidential candidate has described the election as massively rigged, a sham and an emasculation of democracy.
However, Agbakoba, who has been in the business of election litigation for as long as anyone can remember, says Abubakar faces an uphill task as he seeks justice.
“As one of Nigeria’s experienced election petition lawyers, I know that the burden of proof to succeed in an election petition is unfairly huge. We first have to prove that there are electoral irregularities and in my view, once you prove this, you should succeed”, Agbakoba said in a statement seen on TheCable.
“Unfortunately, even if you prove electoral irregularities, you will have to show how that affected the results of the election. Remember that the gap between former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and President Muhammadu Buhari is about 4 million votes”.
Agbakoba, who had initially asked Abubakar not to challenge the result of the election in court because that would amount to an exercise in futility, said he did so for a reason.
Subverting the Supreme Court
“My initial decision to charge former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar not to go to court is based on the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari has subverted the Supreme Court by the removal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen and the appointment of the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria,” he said.
President Buhari suspended Chief Justice Onnoghen and replaced him with Justice Tanko Mohammed on Friday, January 25, 2019.
“It is clear to me that the presidential election results were manifestly riddled with electoral irregularities. Now that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has approached the court, it is important to emphasize that he is constitutionally entitled to do so. My personal advice has become irrelevant. I fully support and wish former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar every success", he added.
The PDP has warned Buhari and the APC to stop gloating because Atiku would soon reclaim his mandate in court.
No Nigerian presidential election result has ever been upturned by the courts.