Peter Obi of the Labour Party has condemned the Supreme Court’s decision rejecting evidence of election rigging, certificate forgery and perjury to affirm President Bola Tinubu’s victory.
Mr Obi, in a press conference on Monday, described the apex court’s judgement as appalling, saying it damaged Nigerians’ confidence in the judiciary.
“Setting legal issues aside, the Supreme Court exhibited a disturbing aversion to public opinion just as it abandoned its responsibility as a court of law and policy,” said Mr Obi.
He added, “It is, therefore, with great dismay that I observe that the court’s decision contradicts the overwhelming evidence of election rigging, false claim of a technical glitch, substantial non-compliance with rules set by INEC itself, as well as matters of perjury, identity theft, and forgery that have been brought to light in the course of this election matter.”
Mr Obi, through his lead counsel, Levi Uzoukwu, SAN, had prayed the apex court to set aside the judgment of the PEPC that dismissed his petition. He had cited Mr Tinubu’s inability to garner 25 per cent votes in the FCT and Vice President Kashim Shettima’s double nomination as the basis for nullifying the president’s victory.
But the apex court, on October 26, affirmed Mr Tinubu’s victory, rejecting Mr Obi’s appeal and fresh evidence of certificate forgery tendered before it by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The court said Mr Abubakar did not include forgery in his case at the tribunal and that the apex court will not take fresh evidence not tendered within 180 days of the tribunal.
But Mr Obi, who faulted the apex court’s ruling, said, “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 parameters for candidates in presidential elections. With this counterintuitive 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.”