Peter Obi tasks judiciary on election petitions

As the Supreme Court reserves judgment on the suit filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Mr. Peter Obi, challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential election, the former Anambra State governor has tasked the justices to live up to their calling and uphold the rule of law.

On Monday, the apex Court reserved judgment on the appeal by Atiku and Obi seeking to invalidate President Tinubu’s election.

Justice John Okoro who led a seven-member panel of the apex court made the announcement after taking arguments from counsel to both parties in support and against the appeal.

Obi, who came third in the election, had in his 51 grounds of appeal, maintained that the PEPC panel erred in law and thereby reached a wrong conclusion when it dismissed his petition.

He alleged that the panel wrongly evaluated the proof of evidence he adduced before it and occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice when it held that he did not specify polling units where irregularities occurred during the election.

Obi and the LP further faulted the PEPC for dismissing their case on the premise that they did not specify the figures of votes or scores that were allegedly suppressed or inflated in favour of President Tinubu and the APC.

Writing on his official X handle, yesterday, Obi reminded the Justices that rule of law formsthe basis for all fundamental rights of humans and that if people lose faith in the judiciary.

Obi also noted that it is rule of law that binds societies together and warned that once democracy is based on faulty justice, it has the tendency to open the society to apparent dangers.

Obi stated that the lofty titles that decorate people in power have little meaning if there is a hollowness and falsehood underneath them, insisting that such titles meant nothing if they are not original. He equally said such titles are fake if those who bear them have no honour to support their weight.

He said: “In situations where there is public doubt as to the veracity and authenticity of these titles, and the claims behind them, it is the judiciary’s role, when called upon, to uphold the honour of the titles through transparent rulings.

“Only through such judicial interventions can the public be protected from the tyranny of dubious and duplicitous characters and identity fraudsters.

“In such situations, the judiciary has a bounding duty to protect society’s value system. This is one of the obligations of an impartial judiciary in a democracy.

“The rule of law remains the lifeblood of democracy in all societies and by whatever definition across time.

“It remains the foundation for all our fundamental rights as humans. It is the rule of law that binds society together.

“The expectation by the high and low alike that their rights will be protected and respected by fair judges in transparent courts is what keeps citizens’ loyalty and belief in democracy.”

Obi reminded the Justices that people, irrespective of their station in life, approach the courts whenever they feel their rights are assailed, in the expectation that fair courts would render justice to them according to law.

“However, when the fairness of the judiciary is not assured, and the transparency of judiciary operatives is uncertain, the rule of law will come under severe threat.

“Once ordinary people lose faith in the fairness of the judiciary, the rule of law is threatened.”

He, therefore, warned of the dangers in allowing the rule of the powerful as well as the rule of the mighty and rich to replace the rule of law, saying it could pose a serious threat on the peace of society.

“A society is endangered when the rule of the powerful and the rule of the rich and the mighty replaces the rule of law.

“When that happens, justice becomes a commodity to be traded between the rich and powerful and a cult of corrupt judiciary operatives. When a democracy is based on faulty justice, it opens society to apparent dangers,” he submitted.

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