By: Arowoogun Abiola

The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 general election in Nigeria has accused the ruling party, All Progressives Congress  and President Tinubu of intimidating the Judiciary and judges with arrest so as to thwart the ongoing judicial process of the presidential tribunal.

This was contained in a statement signed by his media adviser, Paul Ibe on Saturday.  The statement states that “APC and agents of Tinubu have ceaselessly chosen to stand in the way of justice by making catastrophic threats to anarchy if justice is not served according to their whims”.

The plot of the APC is simple: intimidate the judiciary, threaten judges with arrest so that they will bow to their will”. This according to the statement is a playbook from 2019, when they removed the Chief Justice of Nigeria and then replaced him with Tanko Muhammad who himself was later accused of corruption by his colleagues at the Supreme Court and resigned shamefully”.

It will be recalled that Atiku and the Labour Party’s presidential flag-bearer, Peter Obi are challenging the declaration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC as the winner of the 2023 general election.

There have been some dramatic events surrounding the tribunal proceedings.  It will be recalled recently that President Tinubu was accused of having a phone conversation with the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola in order to pervert the course of justice.  However, The Supreme Court had promptly denied the “report that the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, had a telephone conversation with anybody, including President Bola Tinubu, over the on-going proceedings at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PREPEC), hearing complaints against the 2023 general election”.

This President Tinubu and APC also received intense criticism from Atiku and opposition parties as well as other civil organisations for the reference to “anarchy” in his defense during the tribunal.  Tinubu’s defense team as led by Wole Olanipekun SAN was quoted as saying “Any other interpretation different from this will lead to absurdity, chaos, anarchy and alteration of the very intention of the legislature.”

The bone of contention is the failure of Tinubu to secure 25% votes from the FCT.  However, Tinubu, through his lead counsel, Wole Olanipekun argued that the FCT is the 37th state for electoral purposes.

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