The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected Wednesday's ruling of the Presidential Elections Petitions Tribunal which affirmed the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23, 2019 presidential election.

The PDP, which described the ruling of the five-man panel of the tribunal as "provocative" and "barefaced subversion of justice", said its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, will challenge the ruling at the Supreme Court.

The opposition party made its position known in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, after the Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba-led panel said the PDP and its candidate failed to prove that Buhari did not gain majority of lawful votes at the poll.

Justice Garba, who dismissed the petition "in its entirety", had noted that the PDP and its candidate relied on third party accounts and failed to produce eyewitnesses to back its claims in the petition.

In its reaction, the PDP said it "completely rejects the judgment" while also describing it as a "direct assault on the integrity of our nation's justice system".

It said, "The party is particularly shocked that the tribunal failed to point to justice despite the flawless evidence laid before it, showing that President Buhari was not only unqualified to contest the election but also did not score the majority of valid votes at the polls.

"The PDP finds as bewildering that a court of law could validate a clear case of perjury and declaration of false information in a sworn affidavit, as firmly established against President Muhammadu Buhari, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence.

"The party is also rudely shocked that the Court took over the roles of the Respondents' lawyers who clearly abandoned their pleadings by refusing to call evidence in defense of the petition. The court raked up all manner of excuses to make up for the yawning gaps occasioned by the total absence of any evidence from the Respondents.

"Nigerians and the international community watched in utter disbelief when the tribunal ruled that one need not provide a copy or certified true copy of educational certificate such individual claimed to possess, contrary to established proof of claims of certification.

"The party notes as strange that the court even went ahead to provide rationalizations in favour of President Buhari, even when all hard facts before it shows that he did not possess the claimed educational certificate and that the Army was not in possession of his WAEC certificate as claimed in the affidavit he deposed to in his Presidential nomination form.

"The PDP also described as shocking that the court approved the flawed declaration of President Buhari as the winner of the election despite evidence to show the perpetration of illegalities, manipulations, alterations and subtraction of valid votes freely given to Atiku Abubakar by Nigerians.

"Indeed, the pervading melancholic atmosphere across our nation since the verdict is a direct indication that the judgment has not fulfilled the desires and expectations of Nigerians.

"The PDP however encouraged Nigerians to remain calm and not to lose hope or surrender to despondency or self-help, as our lawyers are upbeat in obtaining justice at the Supreme Court.

"This is more so as the tribunal itself admitted that there are several errors in the judgment," said the PDP.

Buhari, who reacted through his Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, described the ruling as victory for Nigerians.

"Good conscience fears no evil report. I was unperturbed all along because I knew Nigerians freely gave us the mandate. We are now vindicated," Adesina quoted the president as saying.

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