The Presidency says it welcomes the elucidation of the Supreme Court ruling on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) petition, saying this reiterates that the onus of proof must necessarily fall on those that challenge the vote.
A statement by the President’s Spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said allegations must be substantiated if they are to hold, and this requires producing credible witnesses that verify key claims. As the Supreme Court has stated, the case failed this test.
“On the issue of qualifications, President Muhammadu Buhari has a long history of service to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The questioning of this fact seems to fly in the face of all evidence.
“However, now it is time for the PDP to take up the service mandated by this election,” said the statement.
It further explained that the legislative agenda of the Ninth Assembly is ambitious in both size and scope.
“It is critical the opposition is there to scrutinise bills and policies, rather than preoccupy themselves with unsustainable court cases.
“We appreciate the PDP and their candidate for taking these claims to courts rather than expressing them in other ways, but now Nigeria needs a robust and rigorous opposition. The nation needs to move on.
“While it is correct to give credit to the courts for affirming this electoral victory-and we commend the courage of the bench to arrive at the right conclusion given manifest and subtle pressures to do otherwise-the reality is that courts were convinced by arguments from the lawyers representing the APC and its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari that results reflected the true wishes of a majority of our citizens.
“President Buhari won four million more votes than his closest rival, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the February poll.
“No serious electoral observers have challenged this result. And now the Supreme Court has explained why the PDP appeal is unsubstantiated. We hope this finally puts the matter behind us.
“We should now grasp this moment to move forward – together”.