Nigeria’s top opposition candidate has rejected the results of what he called a “sham election” and said he will be challenging the outcome in court.

The statement by Atiku Abubakar was shared by supporters on Wednesday morning, a few hours after the electoral commission declared President Muhammadu Buhari the winner of Saturday’s poll by nearly four million votes.

Mr Abubakar said he could have conceded “within seconds” if the vote had been free and fair, but he alleged there had been “manifest and premeditated malpractices” in many of Nigeria’s 36 states.

President Muhammadu Buhari arrives to speaks with his supporters after the result was declared

His statement asserts that voting was suppressed in Mr Abubakar’s strongholds in the south and that states where an extremist insurgency continues had generated “much higher voter turnouts” than in peaceful states.

He also objects to the deployment of the military in some areas.

Mr Abubakar’s statement adds that “I have never seen our democracy so debased.”

He did not say when a court challenge would be lodged.



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