Lawyers holding briefs for All Progressives Congress and President Bola Tinubu have been accused by the opposition party of the Peoples Democratic Party at the Presidential Election Petition Court of engaging in acts aimed at intimidating the judiciary.
This is just as the main opposition party claimed that the alleged threats are contained in the lawyers’ written addresses before the election petition tribunal.
In a press release issued on Monday by Debo Ologunagba, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, the party stressed that “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 per cent votes in the Federal Capital Territory is subversive, an affront to democratic order and assault on the corporate existence of the nation.”
The statement said it is “Alarming and disturbing that the APC externalised 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 the winner.
“The threats, either through counsel or officials of the APC are calculated to intimidate and harass the judiciary and indeed Nigerians.
“The 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 crises in various parts of the country with the intention to further blackmail the PEPC.”
The PDP also questioned the rationale by the ruling party for making public the said written addresses.
“We ask, why is the APC externalizing their final written address to the public? Is the APC being pre-emptive and now seeking 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.
“The PDP calls on Nigerians to remain calm, alert and hopeful in the ability of the judiciary to dispense justice accordingly,” the statement further read.
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