The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised the alarm that the Judiciary is under massive threat by the troubled All Progressives Congress (APC) as the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) enters final stages of the challenge to President Bola Tinubu’s ‘victory’.
The party said Monday in a statement that APC’s threat of anarchy was subtle blackmail and an act of intimidation directed at the judges of the tribunal.
According to PDP, “the threat contained in the written address by lawyers to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) is a pre-emptive move to intimidate the judiciary.”
The statement signed by Hon. Debo Ologunagba, PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, said, “The statement by the lawyers in the said written address threatening crisis and anarchy in the country in the event of the Court ruling that their clients did not meet the Constitutionally required 25% votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is subversive, an affront to Democratic Order and assault on the corporate existence of the nation.
“It is alarming and disturbing that the APC externalized to the public their final written address in which they also threatened national peace if the Court upholds the clear provisions of Section 134 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) with regard to the mandatory and statutory requirements for which a Candidate in a Presidential election can be declared winner.
“The threats, either through Counsel or officials of the APC, is calculated to intimidate and harass the Judiciary and Nigerians.
“PDP holds that the clear intent of the APC is to blackmail the Court and emasculate the independence of the Judiciary to discharge its duties in accordance with the dictates of the law. This action is ostensibly to set the stage to orchestrate violent crisis in various parts of the country with the intention to further blackmail the PEPC.
“We ask, why is the APC externalizing their final written address to the public? Is the APC being pre-emptive and now seeks to heighten tension, subvert the judicial process and trigger anarchy, having realized the weakness of their case before the PEPC?
“The PDP, however, cautions and emphasizes that Nigeria is a country of Rule of Law. The statutory requirements for a winner in a Presidential election as provided by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2022 are clear and unambiguous.
“The APC must, therefore, respect the provisions of the law and allow the Judiciary to discharge its duties independently, without threats, intimidation and coercion.
“Contrary to the doomsday claims of the APC and its lawyers, upholding the provisions of the Constitution and the laws at this point will rather promote peace and stability in the polity, deepen our democracy and engender confidence in the Institution of the Judiciary.
“PDP calls on Nigerians to remain calm, alert and hopeful in the ability of the Judiciary to dispense justice accordingly.”