Counsel to President Umaru Yar’Adua, Chief Wole Olanipekun(SAN), yesterday dismissed as false the insinuation that his client will give up his mandate in the event that he is defeated at the tribunal, saying the president would defend his electoral victory up to the Supreme Court.
President Yar’Adua reportedly told newsmen during his recent visit to the United States he may quit if the tribunal rules in favour of candidates of the All Nigeria Peoples Party(ANPP),General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), and that of the Action Congress (AC), Atiku Abubakar, who are currently challenging his return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)as president.
But Olanipekun, who is the lead counsel to Yar’Adua at the ongoing case at the tribunal, said at a ceremony in Ilawe- Ekiti, Ekiti State, that contrary to media reports, the ruling of the tribunal on Yar’Adua’s case would be taken to the upper court if need be.
The News Agency of Nigeria quoted him saying that the legal battle by his client was still very much on course, adding that it would not be dumped at the last minute for whatever reason.
He said the outcome of the case would determine the next line of action his client would take.
The Senior Advocate also said that the president was quoted out of context during his recent visit to Europe and America when he spoke about elections in the country.
He said the president’s statement that last April elections were flawed was made with the best intentions to assure the international community of the new direction of the administration.
Olanipekun said the statement was made against the background of the reforms being undertaken to correct lapses noticed in the electoral system.
On the renewed fight against corruption, Olanipekun said the administration was only establishing a new culture of obedience to the rule of law.
According to him, Yar’Adua would ensure that no sacred cow was allowed to go scot free in his commitment to zero tolerance to corruption.
“This would not amount to the president biting the finger that fed him as being erroneously peddled by a section of the public, ” he said.