Supreme Court Judgment Breaches Nigerians’ Confidence in Judiciary, Peter Obi said. The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi has explained the Supreme Court Judgment of 26th October 2023, as a breach of the confidence of all Nigerian citizens in the Judiciary.
He said this in a statement named “From Courtrooms to National Conscience: Our Democracy is the Victim”, brought at a Press Conference on the Supreme Court Judgment of 26th October 2023, on the 2023 Nigeria presidential election in Abuja on Monday.
He said “Without equivocation, this judgment amounts to a total breach of the confidence the Nigerian people have in our judiciary. To that extent, it is a show of unreasonable force against the very Nigerian people from whom the power of the Constitution derives”.
He went further, “This Supreme Court ruling may represent the state of the law in 2023 but not the present demand for substantive justice. The judgment mixed principles and precepts. Indeed, the rationale and premise of the Supreme Court judgment, have become clearer in the light of the deep revealing and troubling valedictory remarks by Hon. Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad, (JSC) on Friday 27th October 2023.”
He also continued, “As someone who has previously benefited from the rulings of the Supreme Court on electoral matters, I have, after a period of deep and sober reflection, decided to personally and formally react to the recent judgment as most Nigerians have. Because we are confronted with very weight issues of national interest, I will speak forthrightly”.
Peter made the further statement, “As students and young lads at CKC, Onitsha, we were taught values and admonished to always “choose the harder right, instead of the easier wrong.
“Setting legal issues aside, the Supreme Court exhibited a disturbing aversion to public opinion just as it abandoned its responsibility as a court of law and policy. It is, therefore, with great dismay that I observe that the Court’s decision contradicts the overwhelming evidence of election rigging, a false claim of a technical glitch, substantial non-compliance with rules set by INEC itself, as well as matters of perjury, identity theft, and forgery that have been brought to light in the course of this election matter.
“These were hefty allegations that should not be treated with levity. More appalling, the Supreme Court judgment willfully condoned breaches of the Constitution relative to established qualifications and parameters for candidates in presidential elections.
“With this counter-intuitive judgment, the Supreme Court has transferred a heavy moral burden from the courtrooms to our national conscience. Our young democracy is ultimately the main victim and casualty of the courtroom drama.
“In disagreeing very strongly with the ruling of both the Presidential Petitions Court (PEPC) and the Supreme Court on the outcome of the 25th February 2023 presidential election as declared by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as democrats who believe in the rule of law, we recognize that the Supreme Court is the end stage of the quest for legal closure to the matter.
“As a party and as candidates, Datti and I have now exhausted all legal and constitutional remedies available to us. However, this end is only another beginning in our quest for the vindication of the hope of the common man for a better country. After all, sovereignty belongs to the people! If only for historical purposes, it behooves us to place our disagreement with and deep reservations about this judgment on public record.”
This former governor of Anambra State and also Labour Congress Candidate said, “We have long been aware of how weak national institutions have negatively affected our democracy. This year 2023 has been quite remarkable and revealing. INEC has displayed incompetence in the conduct of its statutory duty.
“The judiciary has largely acted in defiance of constitutional tenets, precedents, and established ground rules. Political expediency has preceded judicial responsibility. A mechanical application of technicalities has superseded the pursuit of justice and fairness. Both INEC and the Supreme Court as the referees, respectively shifted the goalposts in the middle of the game.
“Where the value and import of the recent Supreme Court ruling ends is where our commitment to a New Nigeria begins. Our mission and mandate remain unchanged. From the very onset, our mission has been more about enthroning a new Nigeria.
“It is a new nation where things work, where the country is led from its present waste and consumption orientation to a production-driven economy. Our commitment is to a nation anchored on the principles of prudent management of resources to quickly pull millions out of multidimensional poverty; ensuring transparency and accountability in the equitable distribution of opportunities, resources, and privileges. In the new Nigeria, we aim to address all unmet needs by showing compassion for all those left behind by the present system.”