The candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said the ongoing legal brawl between him and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is going to be a fight to finish, saying he would only back down if the court rules that he is right.
“I am not ready to back down from this course” Atiku was quoted as saying.
Atiku also cleared the air that by trying to retrieve his mandate through legal means, he has not in any way betrayed Tinubu, insisting that the reputation of Nigeria is at stake and that his co-contestant, Mr Peter Obi and Alhaji Rabiu Kwakwanso should also join him in retrieving his mandate.
He spoke on Thursday at a press conference held at the Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua in Abuja on Thursday.
Atiku, a former vice president contested against Tinubu in the February 25, 2023 presidential poll, where Tinubu was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the fiercely contested election.
Dissatisfied by the outcome, Atiku approached the court where he challenged the victory of the president.
But while delivering its verdicts, Justice Haruna Tsammani-led Presidential Tribunal, struck out his petition.
Despite the PEPT ruling, Atiku continued his case at the US court, insisting that the allegation of forgery which was dismissed by the tribunal was unfair.
Atiku seeks to include the released Chicago University documents in his appeal at the Supreme Court.
In his argument, he held that there were discrepancies in the certificate Tinubu submitted to the INEC which should have rendered him ineligible to contest the election.
However, just a few days ago, Tinubu lost a bid to block his academic records from being released as Judge Nancy L. Maldonado in case No. 23 CV 05099 overruled Tinubu’s emergency application.
While reiterating his stance, Atiku added: “I have already filed my appeal against him at the Supreme Court. It is only when the court rules that he is right that I will drop this fight; in other words, I will drop this fight when the court rules because there is no court higher than the Supreme Court.”
Confirming the rumour making the rounds that Tinubu sent some people to him to drop the case, Atiku told newsmen that he learnt so but that he refused to see them.
“I didn’t even let them come to my house,” he added.
When asked whether he was ready to lose his businesses owing to the current feud between him and Tinubu, Atiku said it had already been taken by former President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “I am not scared of businesses being taken away from me. It has already been taken as the former President Buhari revoked the license of a company I co-owned with somebody.”