Nigeria: President Yar’Adua challenged at Supreme Court

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Making good his promise, a Nigerian opposition candidate in last year’s presidential polls has challenged the recent validation, by the election petition tribunal (Court of Appeal), of the election of President Umaru Yar’Adua, at the country’s apex Supreme Court.

Lawyers to Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) filed the appeal late Friday, three days after the Court of Appeal threw out his challenge against Yar’Adua’s election on the grounds that he did not prove the allegations of rigging at the 21 April 2007 polls.

In the appeal, Buhari asked the Supreme Court to set aside the tribunal’s ruling and void Yar’Adua’s election on the ground of non-qualification, among others.

”The petitioner presented documentary evidence in proof of invalid election results from 32 states. Their Lordships did not evaluate the effect of the invalid results from the respective states or the results at the national level.

”Their Lordships had a judicial duty to evaluate all the evidence put before them by the petitioner,” Buhari contended in his appeal.

No date has been fixed for hearing in the suit.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the other opposition presidential candidate (of the Action Congress) whose case was also thrown out by the tribunal last week, has also vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The two main opposition candidates are both northern Muslims like President Yar’Adua, prompting governors of the 19 states in the north to ask them to drop their appeal and support the President.

Chairman of the northern governors’ forum, Babangida Aliyu of Niger state, said the legal recourse being pursued by the candidates had serious implications for the region and its people. Panapress.

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