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Presidential Election Petition Tribunal verdict: Democracy dead in Nigeria, says Campaign for Democracy

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Dede Uzor

Campaign for Democracy (CD), South East and Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders’ Foundation (HURIDE), have flayed the Justice Simon Haruna Tsamani-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), over its judgment affirming Bola Tinubu as duly elected President in February 25 this year.

Delivering the judgment on September 6, 2023, the Five-man panel of Judges dismissed Peter Obi of Labour Party and Atiku Abubakar of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) petitions.

But in a joint statement by the rights groups, they condemned the judgment, describing it as a “miscarriage of justice and deliberate plot to kill democracy, constitutionalism and rule of law in Nigeria”.

In the Statement signed by Dede Uzor A Uzor, Chairman, CD, South East Zone and Executive Director, HURIDE, the groups said the judgment has made Nigerians lose hope in judiciary as the last hope of common man.

They expressed shock that the Judges could not stick to the promise they made at beginning of the trial that technicalities would not be allowed in deciding the petitions.

Unfortunately, the same Judges went ahead to use technicalities to dismiss the cases.

They said that the same Tribunal which rejected coverage of its proceedings by live telecast made a detour and deployed same during the judgment in attempt to hoodwink Nigerians

“By saying that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), bas the prerogative to use any method to anounce election result was the easiest way to destroy free and fair electoral process in Nigeria by the Tribunal” said the right groups.

They said this is even when the Electoral Act 2022 provided that INEC would use BEVAS for the election and IREV for the transmission of results.

The groups said there were many questionable conclusions in the judgment, ,wondering whether the judgment was actually written by the Tribunal members.

The groups asked the country’ s apex Court to ensure that Nigeria’s Constitution and extant laws are not turned upside down by upholding this
particular judgment.

Hence, they called on the Supreme Court to preserve the sanctity of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by upturning the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Panel.

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