Election petitions: Allow tribunals to decide, Gowon urges Nigerians

AHEAD of the sittings of the election petition tribunals across the country, former Head of State Yakubu Gowon has urged aggrieved politicians and Nigerians to allow the court to discharge its duties without interference. 

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal will commence sittings on petitions on Monday, May 8. The current 13 justices of the Supreme Court will preside over the sittings.

Gowon, at a symposium held to honour a late Justice of the Supreme Court, Chike Idigbe, in Abuja on Thursday, May 4, appealed to politicians seeking legal redress over the outcome of the general elections to allow their cases to be judged by the tribunals.

He also asked that they accept the court’s decision when it is delivered. 

“As we move forward as a nation, let us not forget the role of the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court, in questioning the decisions of the lower courts.

“The public should be humble to accept decisions of the Supreme Court as final. Let those aggrieved by the outcome of the election give the judiciary the opportunity to do their job and let them accept the decisions of the tribunals as it is,” he said. 

Gowon emphasised the need for a strong, independent and impartial judiciary that will serve as a beacon of light for the nation’s democracy.

He said the judicial sector cannot afford to fail in its role of protecting the lives and property of citizens through the instrumentality of the courts.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, the winner of the presidential election on Wednesday, March 1.






     

     

    Tinubu polled about 8.8 million votes, defeating Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi, the candidate of the Labour Party (LP). 

    Atiku had 6.9 million votes, while Obi had 6.1 million votes. 

    However, both candidates are claiming that they won the poll and are disputing the result declared by INEC.

    They filed separate petitions before the tribunal, seeking an order to annul the elections or declare them winners of the poll.

    Beloved John is an investigative reporter with International Centre for Investigative Reporting.

    You can reach her via: [email protected]

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