* Appoints Uzoukwu to Lead Legal Team…
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, who lost the recently conducted election, has assured Nigerians that under no circumstance will he mortgage the mandate of Nigerians he claimed was freely expressed on the 23rd of February, 2019.
This assurance comes against the backdrop of the invasion and arrest of Alhaji Babalele Abdullahi, son in-law and finance director of his group of companies in Abuja on Saturday, 2 March, 2019.
His Media Adviser Paul Ibe said in a desperate move to have Atiku Abubakar concede and congratulate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at about 8.30 am today (Saturday) invaded the Maitama residence of Babalele.
He claimed they were, however, not given access into the house until his lawyers arrived.
He said: “The EFCC agents numbering about two dozen came in 2 regular vehicles, an 18-seater Toyota bus (registration Abuja CS 522 RSH) and a hilux van.
They came with a search warrant to search the house and office of Babalele and found nothing incriminating.
“They then proceeded to his office at Oakland Centre in Maitama and found nothing incriminating there. However, they took away some documents of landed property.
Not done, the EFCC officials stormed his Wuse residence where they again found nothing incriminating after the search.
“Afterwards, Babalele was taken away to the EFCC office in Wuse to make a statement alongside Mr. Lawan Ayuba.
It was gathered that the petition relied upon to invade the residence and office of Babalele was authored by a brother of the wife of President Buhari.
“As a law abiding citizen, Atiku Abubakar recognizes the constitutional role of the EFCC and indeed any other agency of the government to carry out investigations, but will not be cowed by any attempt to blackmail him into mortgaging his mandate”.
Meanwhile, Atiku Abubakar at the weekend inaugurated his legal team to challenge the result of the 23 February presidential election. It is headed by Dr Livy Uzoukwu, SAN.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had on Wednesday, 27 February declared Muhammadu Buhari as winner of the election.
However Atiku Abubakar on Thursday, 28 February rejected the result citing several malpractices including the use of the military to perfect voters’ intimidation and suppression in PDP strongholds, connivance of INEC officials, security agents and the ruling party to manufacture bogus figures and outright falsification of the returns from the polling units.
Consequently he had given notice that he will use all available legitimate means to challenge the result of the election.
On Thursday night the PDP presidential candidate met with members of the National Peace Committee prompting concerns in some quarters that he may have been prevailed upon not to proceed with the challenge.
“I have just inaugurated my legal team and charged them with the responsibility of ensuring that our stolen mandate is retrieved,” Atiku said.
“I am encouraged by the presence of fearless men and women of the Bench. The judiciary which had in the past discharged itself ably is once again being called upon to deliver judgement on this matter that will be untainted by lucre and uncowed by the threat of immoral power,” he added.
He assured Nigerians that sooner than later these noble dispensers of justice would give a judgement that will represent a historic denunciation of electoral fraud and mandate bandit.