Olisa Agbakoba, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) says he supports the decision of Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to challenge the result of the February 23 presidential poll in court.
Agbakoba, who is a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) however, expressed doubts that Atiku would get justice because the Supreme Court has been subverted due to the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, and the appointment of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Muhammad Tanko.
Speaking on his earlier advice to the PDP candidate not to go to court to challenge the poll result, Agbakoba said his this was based on his view that he would face “an uphill task, given the circumstances of challenging election results” in the country.
According to him. his experience as one of Nigeria’s experienced election petitions lawyers, the burden of proof to succeed in an election petition “is unfairly huge.”
“We first have to prove that there are electoral irregularities and in my view, once you prove this, you should succeed. Unfortunately, even if you prove electoral irregularities you will have to show how that affected the results of the election.
“Remember that the gap between former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, and President Muhammadu Buhari is about four million votes. It is clear to me that the presidential election results were manifestly riddled with electoral irregularities.
“Now that former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has approached the court, it is important to emphasise that he is constitutionally entitled to do so. My personal advice has become irrelevant. I fully support and wish former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar every success,” Agbakoba said.