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Nigeria’s electoral jurisprudence in danger, warns Obi’s councel

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Dr Livy Uzoukwu, SAN, the lawyer of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, has vowed to appeal the judgement of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal that upheld the election of President Bola Tinubu

Speaking after the judgment was delivered on Wednesday, he stressed that litigants who are dissatisfied with the outcome of an election may resort to self-help if they continue to find it very difficult to establish their case owing to obstacles from government institutions like the Independent National Electoral Commission.

He also warned that if care was not taken, sound electoral jurisprudence would disappear in the country.

“If we are not careful, our electoral jurisprudence will eventually disappear. I am saying this with every bit of sincerity because when the litigants, those who contested the election, continue to find it very difficult to establish their case due to obstacles on the way, starting with INEC, they may certainly resort to some other means of trying to get justice, which may not be lawful.

“Also, I commend the Court of Appeal for introducing live streaming. You may recall that we applied to the court to have live streaming of all the proceedings, but the court, in its wisdom, did not grant the application.

“But now, in the end, they saw the wisdom in it and the need to guarantee transparency, hence the live streaming of the judgment.

“Certainly, it would have been better if it was live streaming of the entire proceedings so that the public would have the chance to watch and be able to relate properly to the judgment.

“So, I will hope and pray that this time it will be continuous, starting from the beginning of a case.

“That is the only way that you can guarantee transparency because when something is open, Nigerians will see things for themselves and make up their minds, one way or the other,” he said.

Reading the verdict on Wednesday, Justice Haruna Tsammani, who led the five-person panel, said, “This petition accordingly lacks merit. I affirm the return of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the duly elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The parties are to bear their cost.”⁣

Thereafter, the four other Justices unanimously took turns dismissing the petitions presented by the PDP’s Atiku Abubakar and Labour Party’s Peter Obi, challenging Tinubu’s emergence as President, as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission on March 1, 2023. ⁣

In the 12-hour session, the Court dismissed the three consolidated petitions of CAPPC/03/2023, CAPPC/04/2023, and CAPPC/05/2023 on several grounds, including a lack of merit. ⁣

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