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Declare Buhari Winner Of Presidential Election, CPC Tells Tribunal

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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ABUJA, October 19, (THEWILL) – The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) Wednesday filed a brief in support of its petition against the presidential victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate President Goodluck Jonathan in the April 16, 2011 poll, praying the Court of Appeal standing as the Presidential Election Tribunal to declare the CPC and its candidate, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari winner.

The CPC supported its position saying the Independent National Electoral Commission has failed to prove that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan won the elections, adding that the electoral umpire did not lead evidence to disprove its claim that Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP did not win the presidential election in 21 states.

CPC insisted that the implication of INEC’s action is an admittance of its charge that Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP not win the presidential election

The party said that if the votes for the 21 unchallenged states were aggregated, the result would show that the Peoples Democratic Party scored 8,047,188 while CPC polled 9,611,215 and other political parties scored 7,233,117.

The party consequently “invited the Tribunal to find in favour of the Petitioner.”

CPC also said that INEC had woefully failed to discharge the burden of proof placed on it to show that its non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act did not substantially affect the result of the election.

The party also said that Jonathan and PDP who were the beneficiaries of the conduct of the election in violation of the provisions of the Electoral Act by INEC had equally failed to establish by credible evidence that the election in which they were victorious was conducted in accordance with Law.

It noted that INEC filed a 41-paragraph reply to the petition and listed 50 witnesses it intended to call from Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Benue, Cross River, Enugu, Imo, Jigawa, and Taraba State and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

CPC said that however, during trial, INEC called only three witnesses from Imo, Anambra and Enugu State.

It asked the tribunal to discountenance INEC’s arguments in respect of states it did not adduce evidence.

It said, “Pleadings cannot constitute evidence and a defendant who does not give evidence in support of his pleadings or challenge of the evidence of the plaintiff is deemed to have accepted the facts adduced by the plaintiff notwithstanding his general traverse.”

The party said that it had discharged the burden of proof - Section 133 (1) & (2) of the Evidence Act to establish that the presidential election conducted on 16/4/2011 by INEC was not conducted in compliance with the Electoral Act particularly that the election was marred by non-accreditation of voters; entry of wrong figures in Forms EC8A EC8B & EC8C; arbitrarily allocation of scores in favour of Jonathan; non supply/excess supply of electoral materials/use of fake ballot papers printed by a company owned by a stalwart of the PDP which was used to conduct election in the North West, North Central, South East, South /South and South West of the Country and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja.

It further argued that INEC abandoned substantial portions of its pleadings (including statutory documents such as Forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C and EC25; Voters Register used in the accreditation of voters which were pleaded and made part of their Reply) on which they had pleaded that the election was conducted in compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act by refusing to call evidence in support of the averments in these pleadings.

CPC said: “As a Party, we are bound to concur with Lord Mansfield in the celebrated case of R V Wilkes (1770) where he said: “The constitution does not allow reasons of State to influence our judgments: God forbid it should! We must not regard political consequences; how formidable they might be: if rebellion was the certain consequence, we are bound to say ‘fiat justitia, ruat caelum’.”(Let Justice be done, though the Heavens fall).”