- Olanipekun, Keyamo, Osinbajo’s brother, 15 others to defend Buhari’s victory
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to stop gloating and showboating on Nigerians with the “stolen” 2019 presidential mandate, saying that its candidate, Atiku Abubakar would soon retrieve the mandate at the tribunal.
The party described President Buhari’s renewed attack on the PDP’s 16 years administrations as a lame attempt to divert public attention from the overwhelming evidence that he rigged the elections.
A statement Saturday by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan said the President’s statement that the PDP has questions to answer on its 16-year stewardship was part of the plots to obstruct the clear winner, Atiku Abubakar, from going to the tribunal to reclaim the mandate freely given to him by Nigerians.
The statement said, “It indeed speaks volumes that President Buhari, in his claimed integrity and anti-corruption stance, is grandstanding over the violent rigging of the elections and his attempt to foist himself into a second term in office on the pedestal of stolen votes.
“President Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) should know that the PDP and Nigerians are focused and will not be distracted by any sort of blackmail in the pursuit of the mandate and we are confident that our justices will never allow an illegitimate government to sit over the affairs of our dear nation.
“Moreover, if anybody has a question to answer on the administration of the nation’s resources, it is President Buhari, who has not been able to offer any explanation on the looting of over N14 trillion from revenue generating agencies in a space of three years under his direct supervision.
“We ask; was it the PDP that siphoned over N9 trillion, through underhand contracts, as detailed in the leaked NNPC memo, in the same sector President Buhari directly supervises as Minister of Petroleum Resources?
“Was it the PDP that stole the over N1.1 trillion worth of crude illegally lifted and diverted with 18 unregistered companies in 2017; the over N1.4 trillion in fraudulent oil subsidy regime and many more scams, including funds meant for the welfare of victims of insurgency in the North East under the Buhari administration?”.
The main opposition party insisted that its past administrations created wealth and applied national resources on massive infrastructural development in all critical sectors.
It also claimed credit for paying off the nation’s huge foreign and domestic debts and grew the economy to be one of the fastest growing in the world.
The party observed that President Buhari on the other hand, ran the economy into recession within a space of three years without being able to point to any development project his administration initiated and completed despite the huge opportunities at his disposal.
“President Buhari must note that Nigerians are no longer interested in his incompetence and blame game and this is the very reason they voted massively against him on February 23. He should therefore end his diversionary tactics and get ready to meet the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in court,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Chief Wole Olanipekun will lead the legal team assembled by President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress to defend the President’s mandate in court.
Also, a former Attorney-General of Ogun State and younger brother to the Vice-President, Akin Osinbajo, the Spokesman for the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr. Festus Keyamo, election petition expert Yusuf Ali , and Osaro Egbobamien are among the 18 Senior Advocates that will defend Buhari.
Others who were hired by the APC include, the Chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN), Alex Iziyon (SAN), Banbella Anachebe (SAN), Charles Edosomwan (SAN), Funke Adekoya (SAN), Prof. Taiwo Osipitan, Ibrahim Bawa (SAN) and Yakubu Maikyau.
One of the Senior Advocates who spoke to The PUNCH on the condition of anonymity said this was the biggest and most deadly squad ever assembled for an election petition case. Our correspondent, who spoke with some of the lawyers on the condition of anonymity, learnt that a former President of the NBA, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), Mr. Femi Atoyebi (SAN), Mike Igbokwe (SAN) and Niyi Akintola (SAN) will also represent Buhari.