A legal practitioner, Robert Clarke, SAN, on Sunday said the votes President Muhammadu Buhari got from the northern part of the country cannot be challenged in court.
He stated this on Sunday while appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
According to him, Buhari enjoyed the goodwill from the northern people because of what he described as the ‘President’s track records’.
“Look at the presidential election, nobody can challenge the number of people who voted for President Buhari in the north because there is a track record.
“In 2003, Buhari beat any other candidate in the north, in 2007 he beat any other candidate in the north, in 2011 he beat any other candidate in the north, (same in) 2015. So in 2019, if you look at his performance when you look at his performance, there is a footprint.” He stated.
His comments come two weeks after the People Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, inaugurated his legal team to challenge the result of the just concluded presidential election.
Prior to the setting up of the team headed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr Livy Uzoukwu, Atiku had rejected the result, alleging several malpractices including the use of the military to perfect voters’ intimidation and suppression in PDP strongholds.
He had also accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of conniving with INEC officials and security agents to fabricate “bogus figures and outright falsification of the returns from the polling units”.
The PDP candidate, thereafter, said he would use all available legitimate means to challenge the result of the election.
But Clarke stressed that he would have advised Atiku against challenging the result if he was his (Atiku’s) lawyer.
According to him, an aggrieved loser at an election should show that the election was riddled with malpractice before succeeding at the tribunal.
“Let’s be honest. The criteria for challenging an election is three-fold. When you go to an election petition, you must first of all show that the election was riddled with malpractice.
“After bringing out the malpractice, you must show that those malpractices affected the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“If I were Atiku’s lawyer, I would have told him that it not easy to challenge an election that has given someone four million votes because when we look at the five states of the southeast, the totality of all the states is not up to half, two million votes of what Buhari (got) not to talk of four million,” he stated.