HomeNEWSTribunal: APC’s Final Address Intended To Intimidate Judiciary, Harass Nigerians – PDP

Tribunal: APC’s Final Address Intended To Intimidate Judiciary, Harass Nigerians – PDP

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday criticised what it described as the threat contained in the written address by lawyers to President Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).

The comments by the counsel for the President and Vice-President Kashim Shettima led by Wole Olanipekun (SAN) were contained in a final written address against the petition of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, and his party.

The petitioners are challenging Tinubu’s emergence in the February 25 election and his fulfilment of the constitutional requirement of 25 percent of the votes in two-thirds of the country’s 36 states and the FCT.

Asking the tribunal to dismiss the petition of Obi and LP, Tinubu and Shettima’s lawyers argued that Tinubu scored 25 percent of the lawful votes cast in the FCT and any other interpretation will lead to chaos and anarchy in the country.

However, the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, in a statement, said the remarks are a pre-emptive move to intimidate the judiciary.

According to Ologunagba, the statement by the lawyers in the said written address is subversive, an affront to democratic order, and an assault on the corporate existence of the nation.

“It is alarming and disturbing that the APC externalized to the public, their final written address in which they also threatened national peace if the Court upholds the clear provisions of Section 134 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) with regard to the mandatory and statutory requirements for which a Candidate in a Presidential election can be declared winner,” the statement said.

“The threats, either through Counsel or officials of the APC is calculated to intimidate and harass the Judiciary and indeed Nigerians.

“The PDP holds that the clear intent of the APC is to blackmail the Court and emasculate the independence of the judiciary to discharge its duties in accordance with the dictates of the law. This action is ostensibly to set the stage to orchestrate violent crisis in various parts of the country with the intention to further blackmail the PEPC.”

See the full statement below:

July 17, 2023

Press Statement

APC’s Threats to PEPC Subversive, Pre-emptive Move to Intimidate Judiciary

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asserts that the threat contained in the written address by lawyers to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) is a pre-emptive move to intimidate the judiciary.

The statement by the lawyers in the said written address threatening crisis and anarchy in the country in the event of the Court ruling that their clients did not meet the Constitutionally required 25% votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is subversive, an affront to Democratic Order and assault on the corporate existence of the nation.

It is alarming and disturbing that the APC externalized to the public, their final written address in which they also threatened national peace if the Court upholds the clear provisions of Section 134 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) with regard to the mandatory and statutory requirements for which a Candidate in a Presidential election can be declared winner.

The threats, either through Counsel or officials of the APC is calculated to intimidate and harass the Judiciary and indeed Nigerians.

The PDP holds that the clear intent of the APC is to blackmail the Court and emasculate the independence of the judiciary to discharge its duties in accordance with the dictates of the law. This action is ostensibly to set the stage to orchestrate violent crisis in various parts of the country with the intention to further blackmail the PEPC.

We ask, why is the APC externalizing their final written address to the public? Is the APC being pre-emptive and now seeks to heighten tension, subvert the judicial process and trigger anarchy, having realized the weakness of their case before the PEPC?

The PDP however cautions and emphasizes that Nigeria is a country of Rule of Law. The statutory requirements for a winner in a Presidential election as provided by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the Electoral Act, 2022 are clear and unambiguous.

The APC must therefore respect the provisions of the law and allow the judiciary to discharge its duties independently, without threats, intimidation and coercion.

Contrary to the doomsday claims of the APC and its lawyers, upholding the provisions of the Constitution and the laws at this point will rather promote peace and stability in the polity, deepen our democracy and engender confidence in the Institution of the Judiciary.

The PDP calls on Nigerians to remain calm, at alert and hopeful in the ability of the Judiciary to dispense justice accordingly.

Signed:

Hon. Debo Ologunagba
National Publicity Secretary

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