A social-political group, Niger Delta Congress, has called on the judiciary system, to be firm, and fair and work for clarity in its judgement, to avoid any form of ambiguity or miscarriage of judgement.
NDC made this call in a statement issued by its national spokesperson, Mudiaga Ogboru, while reacting to the Wednesday judgment at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Abuja.
According to the group, the tribunal failed to provide clear and convincing explanations for its conclusions, which has led to a loss of confidence in the judiciary, among Nigerians.
It would be recalled that the PEPT had on Wednesday, September 8, 2023, set aside petitions filed by the Opposition parties, including Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, Peter Obi of the Labour Party, as well as that of the Allied People Movement, seeking to disqualify President Bola Tinubu, the then candidate of the All Progressives Congress, who was declared as the winner of the February 25 election, by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Reacting to the judgement through its statement, NDC said: “The recent verdict by the PEPC has elicited widespread concern, apprehension, and disappointment among citizens who value the principles of justice, fairness, and transparency in democratic processes.
“As a matter of principle, it is our belief in the Niger Delta Congress that a fair and impartial judiciary is the cornerstone of a thriving democracy, and the concerns surrounding this judgment have for the umpteenth time raised important questions about the health, trajectory, and trustworthiness of Nigeria’s democratic institutions.
“The consolidation of this epiphany amongst the citizens against the judiciary is dangerous and should not be taken lightly.
“As a sociopolitical organization cognizant of the dividends of equity and transparency, we are careful not to define justice according to our sentiments or wishes, but we would not shy away from pointing out obvious judicial issues. Here are some of our concerns:
“Discrepancies in Evidence Assessment: The Tribunal did not adequately address inconsistencies in evidence or thoroughly investigate allegations of irregularities.
“Disregard for Electoral Integrity: The judgment downplays the importance of ensuring the integrity of the electoral process. We are dismayed that the judiciary failed to address electoral misconduct effectively, such as voter intimidation, ethnic profiling, and the use of violence by state and non-state actors, which in some significant cases culminated in grievous physical harm against the electorate.
“Lack of Remedies: We are equally concerned that the judgment fails to provide adequate remedies for any proven irregularities; this further raises the question of the tribunal’s pursuit of justice and what the future holds.
“Overall, the tribunal failed to provide clear and convincing explanations for its conclusions, which have led to a loss of confidence, dismay, and legitimate worry by millions of Nigerians as regards the sacredness of their fundamental rights to those institutions that are charged with the responsibility of ensuring these rights are upheld at all times against the powerful and affluent seeking to erode or undermine them.
“What this portends for the future of Nigeria should give all and sundry cause for concern.”