By Ismail Abdulaziz
Abuja, Sept. 6, 2023
President Bola Tinubu has assured Nigerians of his renewed focus on delivering a unified, peaceful and prosperous nation.
This followed the judgment on Wednesday by the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) on the Feb. 25 Presidential election.
Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Tinubu said he welcomed the judgement of the Tribunal with a sense of solemn responsibility and preparedness to serve Nigerians, irrespective of political persuasions, faiths and tribal identities.
This, however, is as the Peoples Democratic party (PDP), in a statement, rejected the PEPC’s judgment, insisting that it is against reason, facts and evidence presented in court.
The PDP, according to the statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, said: “As a party, we have had an initial review of the judgment as delivered by the PEPC and we unequivocally reject the said Judgement in its entirety.
“The judgment is against reason, against the facts and evidence presented in Court; against the relevant Electoral Laws, Guidelines and Regulations as well as the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“Indeed, the judgment is generous in technicalities and very short in delivering substantial justice in the matter.”
President Tinubu, however, recognized the diligence, undaunted thoroughness and professionalism of the five-member bench, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani in interpreting the law.
Tinubu affirmed his commitment to the rule of law, and the unhindered discharge of duties by the Tribunal, as witnessed in the panel’s exclusive respect for the merits of the petitions brought forward.
He further reflected on the continuing maturation of Nigeria’s legal system and the advancement of Africa’s largest democracy at a time when democratic system of government was under test in other parts of the continent.
The President said that the presidential candidates and political parties that lawfully exercised their rights by participating in the 2023 general elections and the judicial process have affirmed Nigeria’s democratic credentials.
He urged his challengers to inspire their supporters to patriotism that would be elevated above partisan considerations and manifest into support for Government efforts to improve the citizens’ livelihood.
Tinubu thanked Nigerians for the mandate given to him to serve while promising to meet and exceed their expectations through diligent hard work with the team that has been put in place.
Ologunagba, in his statement, insisted that the PDP, as a law-abiding political party would, with its lawyers, have a comprehensive review of the judgment and decide on the next line of action within the ambit of the law.
He called on Nigerians to remain calm and united, saying PDP will continue to lead the charge to defend Nigeria’s democracy .
He said that the party would continue to ensure that the will of the people as expressed in the Feb. 25, presidential election is respected and restored.
The PDP and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar had gone to the court against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Tinubu over his declaration as winner of the election.
The court in its judgment dismissed all the three petitions by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi and the LP and that of the PDP and Atiku Abubakar.