IBRAHIM QUADRI and Chigozie Ikpo, Abuja.
The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) has fixed September 6 to deliver judgment on the petitions challenging the victory of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the February 25 elections.
In a statement released on Monday by the Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Umar Bangari, registrar of the court of appeal, the court will also allow a live telecast of proceedings, for transparency….CONTINUE READING
The statement reads; “The court of appeal wishes to inform the general public that judgment in the following petitions before the Presidential Election Petition Court will be delivered on Wednesday, 6th September, 2023:
“• CAREPC/03/2023 between Mr. Peter Gregory Obi & Anor VS. Independent National Electoral Commission & 3 Ors.
“• CA/PEPC/04/2023 between Allied Peoples Movement VS. Independent National Electoral Commission & 4 Ors.
“• CA/PEPC/05/2023 between Abubakar Atiku & Anor VS. Independent National Electoral Commission & 2 Ors.
“In a bid to promote transparency and openness, these judgments will be televised live by interested Television Stations for the public to follow.
“Access to the Court premises will be strictly on accreditation.
“Only accredited individuals, including counsel and representatives of political parties, will be granted access into the Courtroom.
“Interested members of the public are advised to watch proceedings from their television sets.”
The February 25 polls saw Tinubu secure a total of 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who got 6,984,520, while Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) polled 6,101,533 votes.
Not satisfied with the outcome, five political parties including the PDP, LP, Action Peoples Party (APP), Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and the Action Alliance (AA) lodged separate petitions before the tribunal seeking to annul Tinubu’s victory.
At the commencement of the pre-hearing session in May, the APP and AA withdrew their petitions.
The hearing session soon began and several issues were raised by the Petitioners, whom claimed that Tinubu and his Vice, Kashim Shettima were ineligible to contest the election.
In their final addresses, they claimed that the president was indicted for drug trafficking in the United States and faulted his his academic certificates submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as well as the issue of Guinean Citizenship which he did not reveal at the time of registration.
Also raised by the petitioners was the issue of 25% of votes cast at the Federal Capital Territory, as they claimed that since Tinubu failed to meet the requirement, he should not have been declared winner of the February 25 election.
The five-member panel of the tribunal, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, had on August 1 reserved judgment after all parties adopted their final written addresses in their various petitions.
Also, Barely 48 hours for the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) to deliver judgement, a former Deputy National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George has reiterated the call for the will of the Nigerians to prevail.
The PDP chieftain made the call on Monday during a press briefing in his office, Ikoyi, Lagos, saying the judiciary should not be the one to determine the winner but the people.
Chief Olabode recalled, “Our country has been doing, very little positively and very much negatively. In the last few days, I have been thinking as a former military officer and as a civilian since I have served five presidents.
*We are derailing, the British came and merged us together for their own economic gains but the separation could have been ideal. We saw the positivity of the first democratic dispensation.
“Unfortunately, it is that same national government which everybody rejected is what we are running. The 1999 constitution, who prepared it? The constitution is not working. Thanks God, President Jonathan came with amendment. but where is the report? If you are in government and people are not happy, your representation is called to question.”
Speaking specifically on the last general elections, George noted, “Our electoral process is shambolic, nonsensical and make the country to be nosediving. It is the manipulation of the system.
“A glitch on the day of the election is unforgivable but INEC chairman told us they were ready but with what happened, generation to come will never forgive him.
“The most contentious issue in Nigeria today is the judiciary, it is one of the pillars of government. Is it right for the judiciary to tell us who won or lost the election? What we understand by democracy is Goverment of the people by the people and for the people but in our own case it shouldn’t be Government of the judiciary by the judiciary and for the judiciary. Is that democratic?” He queried.
“It is the will of the people that should prevail. If you discover any wrong, ask them to go back and conduct fresh election even if it takes hundred times. The job of the judiciary is not to tell us who lost or who won.”
He argued further, “Adjudication centres on fairmess and justice. This is something that affects the people. All eyes, all over the world are on Nigeria because democracy is the voice of the people.”
.Tinubu in closed-door meeting with defense ministers, service chiefs
However, Ahead of the Wednesday, September 6 date announced by the Presidential Election petitions Tribunal (PEPT) to deliver judgment in the disputed February 25 presidential poll, President Bola Tinubu, on Monday, September 4, met with the Minister of Defense, Abubakar Badaru, the Minister of State for Defense, Bello Matawalle, as well as the military leadership, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Also in the meeting were the Chief of Defense Staff, General Christopher Musa; the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Taoreed Lagbaja; the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla; and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar.
The meeting, the first after Tinubu decorated the Chief of Defense Staff and the service chiefs, was held behind closed doors.
It lasted for less than an hour and its details were not available to journalists.
The meeting also came ahead of the president’s trip to New Delhi, India for the G20 Leadership Summit in New Delhi, India.
Tinubu would later in the day proceed to New Delhi, India, to attend the G-20 Leaders Summit on the special invitation of Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
The meeting came on the heels of the alarm raised by the Department of State Services (DSS), also on Monday, over alleged plans by certain people to stage violent protests in order to discredit the Federal Government and security agencies over sundry socio-economic conditions.
Although the security alert pinned the alleged planned ‘violent protest’ on socio-economic issues, the pending judgment of the presidential election petition tribunal is believed to be the main motivation for the warning by the DSS….CONTINUE READING
The court will deliver judgment in the petition filed by presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and the Labour Party flagbearer, Peter Obi, against the declaration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as winner of the 2023 Election