The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, represented in this Joint-Statement by Emeka Umeagbalasi, the South-East Zone of the Civil Liberties Organization, represented by Comrade Aloysius Emeka Attah and the South-East Coalition of Human Rights and Democracy Organizations; a coalition of over 20 rights and democracy groups based in the South-East, represented by Prof Jerry Chukwuokoro and Engineer Ikenwoke Nwandu are thanking the Five Justices of the 2023 Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal for “A Job Well Done”.
We also wish to boldly say that we saw the “technical judgments” coming more than two weeks ago but decided to wait until the Nigeria’s Spy Police circumstantially lent credence to the same by its ill-conceived and politically motivated alarm; following which we correctly described the Nigeria’s Spy Police alarm of Sept 4, 2023 as ‘a clear case of leakage and confirmation that the case will be dismissed on technical grounds’.
Therefore, the partisan and vexatious judgments of Sept 6, 2023 have validated our position to the effect that the case will be dismissed on technical grounds and exploited legal loopholes; devoid of grounded laws and facts’. The contents of the Judgments and body languages of those that delivered them also appeared as if they were not independently written or were scripted by partisan third parties. For instance, a judgment that expunged or deleted the EU Election Observer Report on the Nigeria’s 2023 General Elections on “technical grounds” is a stark indication that there was the likelihood of partisan third party encroachment or the verdict was not freely scripted and delivered. The expunging of the EU Observer Report by the PEPT Justices is totally baseless, thoughtless and strongly condemnable. This is more so when public pronouncements by key public figures and intergovernmental and regional institutions and their agencies have severally been relied upon in making key judicial decisions including in civil claimant judicial decisions and post election litigations and nowhere was it noted in the reading of the judgment that the EU was subpoenaed via its relevant officials to appear and authenticate the Report.
2023 PEPT Judgments As Second Most Anti Democratic Case-Law In Nigeria
It is our Joint-Position that the 2023 PEPT Judgments are the second most anti democratic Case-Law in Nigeria after the Jan 2020 Supreme Court Verdict on Imo State Governorship Election. The 2023 PEPT and the Jan 2020 Supreme Court Judgment are therefore a must delete from Nigeria’s ‘Case-Laws’ or Decided Cases which must be speedily effected through electoral and judicial reforms; else credible electoral process will permanently be destroyed and the principle of ‘one-man-one-vote’ gone forever in Nigeria or any part thereof.
PEPT Judgments Should Not Go Beyond PEPT; Taking It To Apex Court Not Necessary
Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar and their camps are called upon to allow the time allocated for filing of appeal or challenging the Judgments at the Supreme Court to elapse. It is our considered opinion that from our several findings that the composition of the present Supreme Court of Nigeria with regard to the 2023 PEPT case is not friendly to credible democratic process in Nigeria. Therefore, taking the case to the Apex Court will most likely end up lending apex credibility to the democratically harmful Judgments and elevate the same to ‘Grand Case-Law’ or “Supreme Court Judicial Precedent” with which Nigerian jurisprudence will be mirrored globally with contempt and resentment including being internationally mocked or laughed at all the times. With the 2023 PEPT Judgments and the Jan 2020 Supreme Court Judgment on Imo Governorship Poll as “the Nigeria’s newest Supreme Court Judicial Precedents or ‘Case-Laws’, the hopes of the presumed winners of Governorship and Presidential Polls in Nigeria to seek redresses in the Election Petitions Tribunals and their appellate and apex stages will be dead on arrival or permanently closed.
‘Thanking’ The Five Justices Of PEPT For “A Job Well-done”
We ‘thank’ the Five Justices and the 2023 PEPT for a ‘job well-done”. We specifically ‘thank’ them for wasting more than three months (March 18 to May 30, 2023 and weeks of unwarranted adjournments and delays into June, July and August) in frivolities and allocating less than three months into compressing the PEPT cases before them; forcing the litigants into time unfriendliness and mangling of their petitions, evidence and witnesses. We ‘thank’ them for conspiring with INEC in denying the petitioners fair hearing including access to relevant materials used in the conduct of the Feb 25, 2023 Presidential Poll. We ‘thank’ the PEPT for monumentally failing to enforce her issued orders and for allowing INEC to flout them with reckless abandon and impunity.
We ‘thank’ the PEPT for conspiring with INEC in denying the petitioners access to see and inspect the requested electoral materials contained in the requests duly made by the petitioners and granted or ordered by the same PEPT. We ‘thank’ them for supervising the brazen violation of her orders by INEC. We ‘thank’ them for allowing INEC to enter and finish its defense without tendering all relevant materials and pieces of evidence whether manually or electronically including FormEC8As from more than 24 States and the FCT showing how the Commission came about the results used in declaring Ahmed Bola Tinubu as a “winner”. The above was also to the extent that INEC became jubilant on account of all of the above; the height of ‘legal technicalities’ that are killing or destroying Nigeria’s post election cases particularly since 2015.
Further, we ‘thank’ the PEPT for introducing immorality in the art of studying and practicing law in Nigeria. We ‘thank’ them for institutionalizing political thuggery, immorality, brigandage and armada of electoral fraud into Nigeria’s electoral process. We ‘thank’ them for institutionalizing poll rigging and militarization in Nigeria or any part thereof. We ‘thank’ them for institutionalizing the “credible and popular votes do not count anymore in Nigeria”. We ‘thank the PEPT for reducing electoral process including voters’ registration and voting to “INEC, political parties’ candidates and their loyalists, hired urchins and security personnel affair” in Nigeria or any part thereof in the future. We ‘thank’ the PEPT for institutionalizing and deepening voter apathy and ‘selection process’ in Nigeria or any part thereof. We ‘thank’ them for deepening Nigeria’s international pariah status. By expunging the EU Poll Observer Report from her records, we ‘thank’ the PEPT for cutting themselves including their wives and children off from European soils and soils of other Democratic Nations including US, Canada, Brazil, Malta, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, etc. We ‘thank’ the PEPT for judicially insulting democracy and rule of law including popular and credible voting. We ‘thank’ them for pushing Nigeria and Nigerians including themselves into the roads to Somalia and Afghanistan where demographic and electoral banditries and bandits inhabit, cohabitate and mingle in a ‘state of nature’.
Jointly Signed By:
Emeka Umeagbalasi (Intersociety
Comrade Aloysius Emeka Attah (South-East CLO)
Prof Jerry Chukwuokoro (South-East Rights and Democracy Coalition)