As Nigerians expect the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to make its ruling, the Ohanaeze sociocultural organization has cautioned the judges against issuing an erroneous judgment.
Ohanaeze warned that Nigerians might witness the Niger Republic military coup situation if the judges issue an erroneous judgment.
The body warned the judiciary to be independent in their verdict of the 2023 general elections in Nigeria, which is marred by allegations of irregularities and non-compliance with electoral laws.
Factional Secretary-General of the group, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said the lack of adherence to the electronic transfer of election results from polling units to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) central server, known as IREV, further fueled these concerns.
In a statement, Isiguzoro said: “As Nigerians eagerly await the verdict of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), their expectations are high for an unbiased and uncompromised judgment.”
“Additionally, the interpretation of the constitutional requirement for a presidential candidate to win 25% of 2/3 of the states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja is a crucial issue that the judiciary must address.
“We emphasize the consequences of an erroneous judgment in light of recent events such as the Nigerien military coup. The apex Igbo cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has cautioned the PEPT judges against making any errors in their verdict. Nigerians understand the gravity of this warning and recognize the potential consequences of an erroneous judgment. The judiciary must consider the broader implications of their decisions, as a flawed verdict could undermine public confidence in the democratic process and lead to social and political unrest.
“Recent events, such as the military coup in Niger, serve as a stark reminder of the fragility of democracy and the importance of upholding the rule of law. Nigerians have witnessed the disastrous consequences of political instability and the erosion of democratic institutions. The PEPT must bear these lessons in mind and recognize the pivotal role they play in upholding the integrity of the electoral process and preserving Nigeria’s democracy.
“The expectations of Nigerians for the 2023 Presidential Election Petition Tribunal are rooted in the desire for an unbiased and uncompromised verdict.”