by Frank Tietie
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) has just delivered its excoriating judgement on the petitions flowing from the Presidential Elections of February 25th 2023.
The majority of the followers of the Labour Party (LP) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), including their candidates who have often tacitly expressed their lack of confidence that the Tribunal would deliver justice, are not surprised at the judgment because they never truly believed they would get a fair judgment from the courts in the long run.
They accused the judiciary of rapacious interference from the corrupt but highly influential Nigerian establishment that is against them in a game where they are no match. Yet they played on thinking that the Almighty God would touch the hearts of the Justices to be patriotic by the awakening of a new populist consciousness driven by the campaign of “All Eyes on the Judiciary“.
The “All Eyes….” campaign not only failed with sleepy eyes on the bar, but it availed nothing but additional misery when the Learned Justices of the Court of Appeal decided to validate the election of President Bola Tinubu in such a stoic judgment that has stunned the legal teams of the petitioners, making them wonder if the law they thought they understood was written in the English language.
To the chagrin of the LP and PDP supporters who had really hoped otherwise against their singsong of utter lack of confidence in the courts, yet in their fatalism, they thought the Tribunal would rule in their favour, but lawyers understand that when a court has decided to follow a particular course, it would employ every relevant Supreme Court authority to support its position just to make it very difficult to fault its judgment and nearly impossible to overturn it on appeal. Thus, it is not the fault of those brilliant lawyers who represented PDP and LP. And becomes ridiculous to suggest to Peter Obi to demand a refund of the legal fees he paid to them.
Therefore, the Labour Party and the People’s Democratic Party will be inviting more misery and disappointment on their supporters if they choose to go on appeal to a Supreme Court that they don’t trust or consider able to engender any confidence to deliver justice.
A better course would be to consider the future of Nigeria with a better strategy of unity. The LP and PDP lost the 2023 presidential elections when they failed to realize that only a coalition of true unity of their political parties could have defeated the All Progressives Congress that was in charge of government at that time.
LP and PDP must simply wake up to the reality!
Lawyer and Social Commentator writes from Abuja.