Amidst ongoing speculation regarding potential efforts by President Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s camp and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to influence the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), human rights organizations and pro-democracy advocates have issued a stern warning against any interference with the PEPT members.
In an official statement delivered to the press in Abuja, FCT, the Chairman of the South East Zone Campaign for Democracy (CD) and the Executive Director of the Human Rights, Liberty Access, and Peace Defenders’ Foundation (HURIDE) emphasized that neither the presidency nor the APC, along with their associates or accomplices, should make any attempts to compromise or sway the panel members using financial incentives or attractive appointments.
The organizations further stressed that it is imperative that no efforts be made to employ security personnel to infiltrate, intimidate, or manipulate the Judges in order to obtain biased rulings that pervert the course of justice.
Drawing attention to the current critical juncture in Nigeria’s trajectory, the groups cautioned that the nation is in a precarious position, with potential for even the slightest provocation to spark widespread protests that could spiral out of control.
Given this context, the rights groups underscored the responsibility of the Tribunal members to firmly resist any pressures that might lead them to deliver judgments contrary to the nation’s constitution and existing laws.
Highlighting the pivotal role of the judiciary, particularly the five-member Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, the organizations asserted that the fate of the country now rests in their hands.
Consequently, they urged the Tribunal members to maintain the highest standards of integrity, akin to Caesar’s wife, and to uphold their reputation as incorruptible and impartial judges. Dede Uzor, speaking on behalf of the groups, issued this resolute caution.