Obi accuses Supreme Court of ignoring identity theft, forgery, others

THE Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi, has condemned the Supreme Court ruling that affirmed Bola Tinubu as the election winner. 

Obi stated this at a press conference on Monday, November 6, in Abuja.

Obi spoke for the first time after the Supreme Court dismissed his petition against Tinubu’s victory on Thursday, October 26.

Obi said the apex court judgment contradicted the overwhelming evidence of election rigging, false claim of a technical hitch, and substantial non-compliance with rules set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), adding that the Supreme Court had transferred a moral burden from the courtroom to the society.

“These were hefty allegations that should not be treated with levity. More appalling, the Supreme Court judgment willfully condoned breaches of the Constitution relative to established qualifications and parametres for candidates in presidential elections. With this counter-intuitive judgment, the Supreme Court has transferred a heavy moral burden from the courtrooms to our national conscience. Our young democracy is ultimately the main victim and casualty of the courtroom drama.

“Without equivocation, this judgment amounts to a total breach of the confidence the Nigerian people have in our judiciary. To that extent, it is a show of unreasonable force against the very Nigerian people from whom the power of the Constitution derives. This Supreme Court ruling may represent the state of the law in 2023 but not the present demand for substantive justice. The judgment mixed principles and precepts. Indeed, the rationale and premise of the Supreme Court judgment have become clearer in the light of the deep revealing and troubling valedictory remarks by Hon. Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad (JSC) on Friday, 27th October 2023,” he said.

Obi emphasized that he, along with his vice presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, strongly disagreed with the rulings of both the Presidential Petitions Court and the Supreme Court.

He noted that while they understood they had exhausted their legal remedies, the development signified the start of their quest for a better country.

“The judiciary has largely acted in defiance of constitutional tenets, precedents, and established ground rules. Political expediency has preceded judicial responsibility. A mechanical application of technicalities has superseded the pursuit of justice and fairness. Both INEC and the Supreme Court, as the referees, respectively shifted the goalposts in the middle of the game,” he added.

This was coming a week after the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, accused the Supreme Court of legalising illegality, forgery, and identity theft. 

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Abubakar said that with the judgment, the Supreme Court told Nigerians to win an election by any means, including “forgery, identity theft and violence.”

“If the Supreme Court, the highest court of the land, implies that crime is good and should be rewarded, then Nigeria is lost,” the former vice-president said, adding, “It is not about me; it is about our country, Nigeria and the future.




     

     

    The ICIR reported how the apex court dismissed the appeals by Abubakar and Obi.

    On Wednesday, March 1, The ICIR declared Tinubu the winner of the presidential election conducted on February 25. 

    Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat a dozen other candidates, including three major ones, namely the PDP’s Abubakar, LP’s Obi, and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP’s) Rabiu Kwankwaso. 

    According to the election results announced by INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu, Abubakar came second with 6,984,520 votes, Obi followed closely with 6,101,533 votes, and Kwankwaso got 1,496,687.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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