Palpable anxiety has gripped the country, especially the Federal Capital Territory, as the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) delivers its much-awaited judgment on the February 25 election.
Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Umar Mohammed Bangari, who confirmed the date on Monday, said live telecast of the judgment by interested Television stations would be allowed.CONTINUE READING>>>>>
The Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel of the court had on August 1, reserved judgment, after all parties adopted their final briefs of argument for and against the petitions.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) are seeking to nullify the election of President Bola Tinubu.
Atiku and Obi in their separate petitions marked CA/PEPC/05/2023 and CA/PEPC/03/2023 challenged both the declaration of Tinubu as president as well as the credibility of the conduct of the election.
Investigations conducted across the country, yesterday, showed that security surveillance has been stepped up. “We’re not unaware of the heightened apprehension in the country, a senior security chief told Daily Sun in Lagos, yesterday.
In Abuja, a source said there was a level 4 security alert. This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks.
Apparently to forestall breakdown of law and order after the tribunal judgement, the Police, yesterday, confirmed that it had fortified security nationwide.
Its spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, in a statement, reiterated the commitment of the force to ensure safety of lives and property before, during, and after the judgement.
According to him, diligent security measures have been taken to maintain order and enforce laws while respecting the rights and freedoms of citizens.
He warned mischief-makers and political gladiators against misinformation and unguarded utterances.
He urged the public to be cautious in their actions and statements adding that the Police would not condone activities capable of inciting violence or causing a descent into anarchy.
According to him, it is imperative for all citizens to be peaceful and calm regardless of their political affiliations, to ensure a peaceful and secure environment.
•PDP embarks on fasting, prayer
Members of the PDP, yesterday, converged on the Chapel inside its National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, in Abuja, for fasting and prayer session for a “favourable judgment.”
Former Adamawa governor, Boni Haruna, while speaking at the programme, said he believed God would make it possible for the the PDP to recover its “mandate” through the tribunal.
Harauna, who took his message from the book of 1 Samuel 30: 1-8, noted that just as God made David to recover all he lost during the war with the Amalekites, the PDP will also recover what it has lost in the last presidential election.
According to him “like in the day of Amalekite and David, God will make it possible for the PDP to recover its mandate. Jesus Christ will make it possible for the party to recover and reconcile its members. It is only Jesus Christ that can bring restoration. We seek restoration to everything that have been lost.
“David sought God’s face and God instructed him and he recovered all that was taken away from him. PDP will recover what was taken from it. We need to reconcile with God. We will put this nation in the right place. There’s nothing that is lost that cannot be recovered, provided we commit that into the hand of God.”
On her part, the PDP Director of Publicity and coordinator of PDP Christian Religion Body 2023, Chinwe Nnorom, said that it was not a coincidence that the prayer and fasting of the party, which started long before now was climaxing on the eve of the judgment.
he added that they have been seeking the face of God for a favourable judgment at the tribunal.
•LP raises the alarm
Reacting, LP drew the attention of the public and democratic watchers to some unfolding developments ahead of judgment.
According to the party, the “unguarded statement” from the former Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Mary Odili in Abuja last week at a colloquium to mark the 25th anniversary of the elevation of a renowned jurist, JK Gadzama to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), and the boasting of some persons, serving ministers and notable legislators about the outcome had left our party in shock.
LP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Obiora Ifoh, noted that it was unfortunate and dangerous to Nigeria’s democratic journey as a nation, when those who should know the importance of the sanctity of the judiciary descend to the arena of abusing it with their preemptive utterances just to show loyalty and support to their interests.
“We find this extremely undignified of a renowned jurist who rose to the peak of her career in the country’s apex court and who as the chairperson of the Body of Benchers, should be at the forefront of defending the virtuousness of the courts.
“Also curious to every discerning mind watching the unfolding events in Nigeria since the February 25th presidential election is the fact that the PEPC that refused live television coverage of the hearings of the petition, and is now anxious to have the conclusion beamed live. What is it that has happened between the hearing period and the delivery of the judgment that the live coverage which they claimed was a policy issue changed suddenly at the delivery point?
“We are aware of the efforts of the agents of the states to orchestrate problems and blame them on the political opposition. We wish to emphasise that it is the right of the people in a democracy to demonstrate and the obligation of state security agents to protect the demonstrators and those not demonstrating.”
The party, however, implored Nigerians to remain calm, peaceful and abide by the rule of law.
It also urged its supporters to understand that the matter had not reached its logical and final conclusion.
“Our concern as a critical stakeholder in Nigeria’s project, especially the democratic evolution, is that what is being destroyed with all this cleverness by half playing on people’s intelligence is Nigeria as a nation not necessarily an individual. Anybody who loves this country should appreciate the importance of due process and the rule of law because, without it, this country is going nowhere,” it declared. CONTINUE READING>>>>>