Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi has expressed confidence in the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal to give the right verdict concerning the result of the just-concluded February 25 presidential election.
Mr. Peter Obi made related this feeling while on a live appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday morning.
Mr. Obi said that he is very confident in the Nigerian Judiciary because it is one of the finest in the world. He also acknowledged that corrupt politicians are only trying to influence the Nigerian Judicial system negatively, but this does not deter him.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had been put on the spotlight for not uploading the presidential election results from all its polling units across the nation to its Results Viewing Portal (IREV) on Election Day.
Ignoring the protestation of the opposition parties, INEC, in the early hours of Wednesday, March 1, 2023, declared Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the President-elect and winner of the election. Tinubu polled about 8.8 million votes ahead of his rivals in the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, who polled 6.9 million votes and Obi himself, who polled 6.1 million votes.
Dissatisfied with the election results and declaration, the LP approached the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to grant it permission to inspect the election materials used by the commission during the February 25 polls, including the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), which was the major technology deployed during the polls to enhance a free and fair process.
The chairman of the electoral body, Mahmood Yakubu, while receiving lawyers from the LP on Monday, assured them that the commission had nothing to hide and pledged to provide all documents requested to aid the ongoing case.
When asked, however, if his trust in the electoral body had been rekindled with the INEC chairman’s oath, Mr. Obi said, “They are now dealing with the lawyers. I don’t go to INEC, I’m not part of it. Well, I believe the lawyers are satisfied and if they are, it is no longer about me trusting INEC, there’s now something between the two of us. So, if our lawyers trust them, I’m fine with that.”
However, he added: “I am confident in the judiciary. I am because I have stayed in court for three years when people said it was impossible for you to become a governor through the court and I became the first (to reclaim a stolen mandate). Remember I was impeached and again the court brought me back. And I went for interpretation where I said, ‘My tenure is not complete’. People said it’s impossible because somebody else had been elected but I changed it.
“So, having gone through courts, several of them, I have not had any cause to doubt the court.
“I believe Nigeria has one of the best judiciary globally, but it is we, the politicians, because of our transactional nature, that are trying to ensure that everywhere is corrupted. That I wish can start reversing, even with this case. They are seeing globally what is happening, Africans are surprised that the giant of Africa can no longer deliver. Even Ghana will soon have elections and they will do all without the BVAS and it will go smoothly.
“I don’t go anywhere referring to how others were treated. Irrespective of their judgements recently, I have confidence that they know the country is collapsing, they know they have to help to build a better place for their children.”