No amount threat by Tinubu on PEPT judges will change constitutional requirements – Labour Party


The Labour Party says it has taken note of the news making the round purportedly from the leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu where he allegedly warned the Presidential Election Petition Court (PREPEC), that interpreting the law as provided for in the constitution on the 25% of lawful votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, could “lead to absurdity, chaos, anarchy and alteration of the very intention of the legislature.”

The party in a statement by Obiora Ifoh, its National Publicity Secretary said it was worried that the statement which formed part of his submissions and was contained in his final written address against the Labour Party’s petition pending at the PREPEC, and meant to be in the exclusive custody of the court was leaked to the media.

“We still do not know the reason behind this act of desperation, even when the matter is still pending in court. We will however be careful not to term the action as “Sub-judice”.

“Having said that, the Labour Party thinks that the statement was unnecessary since the matter is already before the court, and going ahead to pontificate on it could be construed as interference in the duties and responsibilities of the judiciary.

“The truth of the matter is that there are no sentiments when it comes to matters of law. The law is the law and once the law has stipulated the manner and how a matter must be carried out, it must follow that pattern.

“If the law has stated the requirement that a presidential candidate must meet before he can be declared, there is no shortcut to it. Therefore, if the constitution which is the ground norm of the law in Nigeria has stated clearly that you must score at least 25 percent in FCT before the president can be declared, anything short of that cannot remedy it.

“It is on this note that we request, that caution must be applied by the camp of the APC in its subtle but very clear pressure believed, is being mounted on the judiciary to see the developments from its lense.

“We insist that no amount of threat from the APC on the judges in the tribunal can change the processes and requirements that the law has put in place. It must be followed and that is the position of the Labour Party.

“We recall very clearly a mild but stern threat during the ‘Democracy Day’ Speech made by the APC-led administration where it stated emphatically that “It has become imperative to state here that the unnecessary illegal orders used to truncate or abridge democracy will no longer be tolerated.” We noted then that the warning appeared threatening enough as it sounded more totalitarian but today we are confronted with a sterner approach to whipping the judiciary into a pathway, a development if allowed unchallenged will spell doom for the nation.

“We see in that statement a call on the armies of the APC to awaken to their sworn vow to return to the trenches just the way they unleashed terror on our supporters during the February election. The same thugs that perpetrated “absurdity, chaos, and anarchy” and who were used to alter the will of Nigerians are still very present and willing to do the will of their paymasters. Let me assure the APC and their leaders that if there were no “absurdity, chaos, and anarchy” when they forced their way into power, Nigeria will still witness peace when they are eventually evicted from power”.