Tinubu’s Victory, Wrong Signal That Rules Don’t Need To Be Followed To Win Elections – Tanko Yunusa

With the Labour Party and Peter Obi on Friday, closing its case against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in their bid to overturn his victory at the 2023 polls, one of the spokespersons for the Party’s Presidential Campaign Council, Tanko Yunusa, in this interview with INFORMATION NIGERIA, expressed hope that the court justices will give their judgement based on facts, rather than technicalities.

The Labour Party closed its case against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Tribunal on Friday. What’s your perception of the proceedings since it started?

We’ve been able to substantially prove that the election wasn’t conducted according to standard. We put the premises of our challenge on two grounds which were his non-qualification and double nomination. We also submitted 102 pages of statements on oath. We also presented boxes and tons of proof that the election wasn’t done based on standard and it negated every normal rules and regulations stipulated by INEC. The judges have taken all of our evidence as presented to them. We’ve brought knowledgeable people, statisticians, including Amazon whose representative came in to give testimony as regards how the election was wrongly conducted. In fact, we concluded by saying that there were no glitches and there were 18,088 blurred results that were transmitted on the IREV. I can also tell you authoritatively that in Unit 020105003, in Adamawa State, Demsa Local Government, Dong ward, in Ngbekendewe primary school, what you’ll see there as I speak to you, is a passport picture of somebody we don’t know. There was no result uploaded, only a picture. Those are the things they said were allocated to Nigerians. As far as we’re concerned, we’ve been able to prove our case beyond reasonable doubt and we’re expecting that the judges will take a critical look at all our submissions and not base it on technicalities or frivolities but look at the substance of what’s germane which are facts, for us to annul this election or declare us the winner.
Talking about Amazon, remember the INEC Chairman, Professor Yusuf Mahmood, after the February 25 presidential election, defended his decision not to adopt the electronic transmission of results, saying there were glitches. But at the tribunal last week, an Amazon representative dispelled that claim. How do you react to this? Do you think Prof. Mahmood was lying to favour a particular candidate?
The truth about it is that, when you know you’ve missed the goal post the way it was supposed to be, you try to shift it, so that it can meet where you’ve kicked your ball. That’s the way I can explain this because they are the ones that made the rules and publicized the rules, they told every Nigerian that they’ll go by the rule according to what they stipulated, they made it clear. Only for them to, after the election, change the rules? No, it doesn’t work like that. Not anywhere in this world does it work like that. So, for us as we speak today, it’s our judiciary that we hope and believe will do justice to this case and ensure that the mandate of the people is returned to them.
How do you react to the counsel of the respondents always opposing almost every evidence presented in court?
As of yesterday, you could see that they were saying that they should be allowed to do their job, which is what they are being paid to do. What they are being paid to do is everything that they have to do to justify their payment. That’s the way I can see it, as regards to what we saw. They are lawyers, and that’s what they are paid to do.
The respondents will start their defence on July 3. What are your expectations regarding the outcome of the tribunal?
I expect that they’ll bring out facts of the matter, if they have, for us to cross examine and fire back. If they are true with what they present, we’ll look at them. I’m sure our lawyers are equal to the task to deal with all that they submit.
Bearing in mind that the courts have made controversial judgements in the cases of Ahmed Lawan and Godswill Akpabio, who is now Senate President, what’s your level of confidence in the justices at the tribunal?
My confidence is in God, that He’ll breathe into the judges for them to save this country. Because the danger of taking a wrong decision on this matter, has far reaching negative effects on our democracy, and it will send a wrong signal to the younger ones, that they don’t need to follow rules and regulations for them to contest elections. Anyhow they can get any position, they should just go and get it. That’s what this may end up, but God forbid. We hope that the rules of laws of engagement, law and order as enthroned by the preaching of democracy, will be in the minds of our judges to do the right thing for the interest of our country and our democracy.
What’s the mood of Peter Obi right now, in your own perspective?

I’ve never seen a man that sounds so pumped up despite all the negative attacks that they’ve sent to him. He still remains resolute and determined to continue in his quest to have an egalitarian society and a better Nigeria than what we’ve been having. I’m so proud to work with him and I’m very proud that he’s working for the interest of the Nigerian people. I feel content that we have a man in him that’s ready to face all the odds. Gani Fawehinmi used to say stand for the truth, even when you’re standing alone. In this case, Peter Obi is not standing alone because he’s leading as one soldier that believes that Nigeria must change for the betterment of the Nigerian people.
Calls intensified last week, urging your principal and Atiku to withdraw their petitions against Tinubu at the tribunal. How do you react to that?
That’s because they know things weren’t done rightly. They know they came to take this presidency from the back door, that’s why they’re looking for alternative dispute resolution. But they say he who seeks for equity must come with clean hands.