14th July 2024
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Presidential Battle: Pan-African Group Writes Tribunal, Raises Issues About Expected Verdict

Presidential Battle: Pan-African Group Writes Tribunal, Raises Issues About Expected Verdict

The Board of Trustees of Diaspora Action for Democracy in Africa (DADA), a Pan-African Organization, has raised issues about the 2023 Nigeria Presidential Election, the consequent judicial process and the expected verdict of the Presidential Election Tribunal.

DADA, in a letter to the Secretary of the Presidential Election Tribunal (PEPT) titled “The 2023 Nigerian Presidential Election and the Judiciary”, signed by its President, Uche Martins, expressed concern that “no other election tribunal has raised the consciousness of Nigerians more than the 2023 presidential election” and urged the Judiciary to “be bold and issue a just and fair decision, without fear or favor, affection, or ill will.”

“We, the Board of Trustees of Diaspora Action for Democracy in Africa (DADA), write to express our concern and voice our observations regarding the awaited decisions of the Presidential Election Tribunal.

“Over the past four weeks and in pursuit of our missions and objectives, a Diaspora Action for Democracy in Africa (DADA) delegation embarked on extensive discussions with Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora over promoting democracy and the rule of law in Nigeria.

“One major issue that has emerged as a matter of utmost national importance not only to Nigerians, but to all Africans and friends of Africa, is the 2023 Nigeria Presidential Election and consequent judicial process.

“The results from Nigeria’s general elections have come under international scrutiny as courts considered several petitions.

“We strongly believe and the judges know, that, in the history of Nigeria, no other election tribunal has raised the consciousness of Nigerians more than the 2023 presidential election which they are currently presiding over,” the group wrote.

DADA urged the judiciary to ensure their verdict meets the requirements of justice and reiterated that the court, armed with “enough evidence to pronounce the real winner of the 2023 presidential election,” has “all that it takes to save this country from the threat of implosion.”

“Arising from our discussions with Nigerians from diverse backgrounds is the concern that the Judiciary needs to be cautious because if their verdict fails to satisfy the requirements of justice, it may detonate the youth’s simmering anger and set the country ablaze.

“The Judiciary is the only institution that has all that it takes to save this country from the threat of implosion. All eyes have been on the Judiciary because of Nigeria’s respect for the law.

“It does not mean that the members of the Presidential Election Tribunal are in a better position in this case to tell Nigerians the person who won the presidential election. Nigerians do not wait for any court to tell them the winner of any election. It is the electorate that should tell the court because they know more than the court whom they voted to be their president.

“Since it is the prerogative of the court to ensure that truth and justice prevail in any election dispute, the court has been given enough evidence to pronounce the real winner of the 2023 presidential election,” the group said.

In the letter which was also copied to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), President of Court of Appeal and National Judicial Council, DADA lamented the threat by a presidential candidate that his removal will cause chaos and anarchy, adding that any attempt to pervert justice and the will of the people was what will likely cause chaos and anarchy.

“We deplore the threat by a candidate in the elections against the Judiciary that if he is removed for not measuring up to the demands of the electoral laws of the land there will be chaos and anarchy in the country. On the contrary, what is likely to cause chaos and anarchy is any attempt to pervert the course of justice and the will of the people,” DADA wrote.

DADA whose objective is to “facilitate, promote, and support the advancement of democracy that delivers good governance on the African continent” with Nigeria being the largest African country and the largest black nation noted that “one out of four black persons is a Nigerian, and so Nigeria is central to DADA operations, visions, and missions because a stable and democratic Nigeria is central to the emancipation of the African continent and the entire black race” therefore called on the judiciary to distinguish itself and let justice prevail.

“The outlook for the Judiciary in 2023 is a tricky one. There have been moments in Nigeria’s history when the Judiciary distinguished itself as a bastion of our democracy and cherished rule of law principles. 

“Opinions are however, bound to be divided, as to whether the recent outlook of that institution inspires similar hope at this time. What is clear is that we might have just come to one of such critical junctures in our history again, and the enormous role of the Judiciary in shaping it, should not be lost on it.

“The Judiciary should therefore be bold and issue a just and fair decision, without fear or favor, affection, or ill will. The Honourable Justices must issue their judicial pronouncement in the spirit of Fīat jūstitia ruat cælum “Let justice be done though the heavens fall,” it added.

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