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Saturday, July 13, 2024

INEC Illegally Declared Tinubu President — Atiku

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Atiku Abubakar has insisted Bola Tinubu has a stolen mandate and is a fake President because the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) illegally declared him winner of the presidential vote held on February 25.

Atiku, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), pressed the point in his final written address at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), arguing the declaration of Tinubu is unjust and unconstitutional, and he must be ejected from the Villa.

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He insisted Tinubu, having personally admitted and his witnesses also confirmed that he was involved in a $460,000 narcotics forfeiture case in the United States, was ab initio not qualified to run for Aso Rock.

He dismissed the claim of Tinubu and his witness that he forfeited the money in a civil court action.

Atiku said the definition and colour of “civil action” Tinubu gives the criminal forfeiture is not tenable because a US court acted on his indictment before imposing the fine on him.

Tinubu in his address did not dispute $460,000 forfeiture in drug case

Atiku’s final address, presented by his lead counsel Chris Uche, SAN, reads in part:

“The forfeiture of $460,000 by the 2nd respondent (Tinubu) to the United States Government (a competent authority in the instant case) is neither contested nor disputed by any of the respondents.

“The feeble response of the respondents is that there was no arraignment or criminal conviction,” Atiku argued, according reporting by The PUNCH.

“The verified complaint for forfeiture and the entire records of the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division dated September 15, 1993, indicated that the 2nd respondent’s funds totaling $460,000, were seized as the funds which constitute proceeds of narcotics trafficking and money laundering.”

“The 2nd respondent’s (Tinubu’s) sole witness, Senator Bamidele Opeyemi, admitted under cross-examination, when shown the American court judgment, that the proceedings affected the 2nd respondent, as his name was reflected in the records of the court.

“It is pertinent to observe that the 2nd respondent (Tinubu) evaded denying the forfeiture of the said sum of $460,000 to the United States Government for narcotics trafficking and money laundering activities but engaged in the semantic distinction between civil and criminal forfeiture, as well as the defence that the offence was committed over 30 years.

“It is submitted, that forfeiture whether ‘civil’ or ‘criminal’ takes its source from the commission of a crime.

“The word ‘forfeiture’ means – ‘the divestiture of property without compensation. The loss of a right, privilege, or property because of a crime, breach of obligation, or neglect of duty.’

“It is submitted with respect that in all the above definitions, the common thread that runs through all categories of forfeiture is the imputation of a crime, leading to the seizure of property or money.”

Atiku implored the PEPC to invoke Section 137 of Nigeria’s Constitution to nullify Tinubu’s election.

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