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Nigerian Presidential Vote ‘Rigged,’ Says Opposition Official

  • Peter Clottey

A Muslim woman prepares to vote during a gubernatorial election in Kaduna, Nigeria, Thursday, April 28, 2011. Two states in Nigeria's Muslim north voted Thursday for state gubernatorial candidates after their polls were delayed by violence that killed at

A Muslim woman prepares to vote during a gubernatorial election in Kaduna, Nigeria, Thursday, April 28, 2011. Two states in Nigeria's Muslim north voted Thursday for state gubernatorial candidates after their polls were delayed by violence that killed at

The general secretary of Nigeria’s main opposition Congress for Progressive Change [CPC] says his party is legally challenging the outcome of the April 16 presidential elections, saying they were marred by “irregularities.”

Buba Galadima says his party can sufficiently document the alleged irregularities, which according to him, took place in both the north and the south.

“We have more than enough evidence to prove that [there was rigging]. It is left for the Nigeria judiciary to accept our view,” he says.

The party, says Galadima, will dispel the popular view that the election was “peaceful, credible and transparent.”

The Congress for Progressive Change party is asking a court to throw out certain election results and order new polls in some areas.

Galadima says his party will proceed with its legal challenge, despite the refusal of standard-dearer General Muhammadu Buhari to back the move.

“We as a political party have the inherent jurisdiction to go to court on behalf of the membership of [this] political party in Nigeria,” says Galadima.

President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from southern Nigeria, defeated his northern Muslim rival, Buhari, who is a former military ruler.

International and local observers have said last month’s election was Nigeria's most credible vote in decades.

But riots broke out after the vote, and a Nigerian rights group says at least 500 people were killed in Muslim-Christian fighting.

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