By Jibril Almustapha
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has appointed 12 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) to defend the mandate of its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu in the just concluded polls wherein the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, declared Bola Ahmad Tinubu the winner and thus returned elected.
An outcome which was rejected by first and second runner-ups, Atiku Abubakar of PDP and Peter Obi of LP respectively. The duo therefore vowed to challenge the victory of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu in court. But the ruling party says it is willing to meet the parties in court.
In a statement on Tuesday, the party’s National Legal Adviser, Ahmad Usman El-Marzuq, released the 13-man list comprising 12 senior advocates.
Top on the list is a legal icon, Wole Olanipekun, who is also the lead counsel to the ruling party at the Presidential Election Tribunal.
Solace Base reported that, the ruling-party’s statement reads, “The All Progressives Congress (APC) has appointed a team of highly qualified and experienced lawyers to represent the Party at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal,” the statement read.
“The team is comprised of legal luminaries with vast experience in election petition matters, constitutional law, and litigation.
“The legal team consisting of twelve (12) Senior Advocates of Nigeria and the National Legal Adviser of the Party, Ahmad Usman El-Marzuq, Esq., is led by Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, a renowned lawyer who has successfully handled various high-profile election matters and other landmark cases.”
“Other members of the list are Ahmad Usman El-Marzuq, Sam Ologunorisa, Rotimi Oguneso, Olabisi Soyebo, Gboyega Oyewole, Muritala Abdulrasheed, Aliyu Omezia Saiki, Tajudeen Oladoja, Pius Akubo, Oluseye Opasanya, Suraju Saida and Kazeem Adeniyi.
“The party is confident that the legal team possesses requisite expertise and experience to ensure a successful outcome for the APC in the Presidential Election Petition matters.”
It also urged party members to support the team in its effort to defend the will and mandate of the people, calling on all parties involved to conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism and respect for the rule of law throughout the legal process.
It could be recalled that Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states, almost two million votes more than his closest rival, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). While Atiku came second with 6,984,520 votes, the candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, finished the race with 6,101,533.