The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has accused President Bola Tinubu of standing in the way of justice by making catastrophic threats to anarchy if justice is not served according to his whims.
Atiku, in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Mr Paul Ibe, and made available to newsmen, said that “these and reports in the media about some heinous plots to harass justices sitting on the petition are ominous to peace and the security of our nation.”
The PDP candidate is contesting the result of the 2023 presidential election, which declared Tinubu winner, at the tribunal.
Atiku said: “Our democracy gives the people of Nigeria the powers to choose their leaders, and our laws demand that our judiciary must be allowed to act independently without harassment and intimidation by the government or powerful interests.
“To compromise the workings of our democracy and seeking to compromise the workings of our judiciary is an open call for anarchy.
“As a party in the litigation that is currently reviewing the outcome of the last presidential election, we wish to express our intentions to do all that is within the law in resisting any attempt to undermine our fragile democracy.”
He, therefore, called on the international community to be alerted.
He insisted that Nigeria’s democracy should not be undermined by using the judiciary to serve the interest of the ruling party.
“Sadly, this has become the stock in trade of the All Progressives Congress to intimidate the judiciary.
“Recall that in 2019, the APC-led Federal Government similarly removed the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, when it was obvious that he would not bend to their will.
“The Department of State Services similarly stormed the homes of judges in 2016 and 2017, all in a bid to beat the judiciary into submission.
“The plot of the APC is simple: intimidate the judiciary, threaten judges with arrest so that they will bow to their will. This is a playbook from 2019 when they removed the CJN and then replaced him with Tanko Muhammad, who himself was later accused of corruption by his colleagues at the Supreme Court and resigned shamefully.
“However, the APC government never went after Tanko Muhammad as they did in Onnoghen’s case because it was never about corruption but election. The APC has, over the years, built a reputation of judiciary intimidation.
They accused about 10 judges of corruption, stormed their homes, and got them suspended and yet could not convict a single one of them. Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court could not recover from the embarrassment that he ended up dying in office.
“Now, they have initiated a new plot. This time around, they want to intimidate the judges into delivering favourable judgments for them at the election tribunal. We draw the attention of the international community and, indeed, Nigerians to this fresh plot to steal the mandate of over 200 million people,” Atiku said.
He also urged Nigerians to abide by the golden rule of eternal vigilance being the price of liberty.
Similarly, he appealed “to all security agencies in the country to remain professional in the discharge of their duties and resist being used as an instrument of oppression and intimidation against the judiciary.”