The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25, 2023 election and first petitioner in the ongoing case at the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, Mr. Peter Obi, has said that, contrary to the position canvassed by President Bola Tinubu and his deputy, Kashim Shettima, what would lead to anarchy in the country is where the rule of law is trampled upon or truncated.
He was responding to the threat of anarchy by duo that if the Court interprets the Section 134 of the Constitution against them in the election petition before it there might be a breakdown of law and order.
Section 134(b) states that a person can only be declared winner of the presidential election if, among others, “he has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”
Obi spoke through his lawyers led by Dr Livy Uzoukwu and Onyechi Ikpeazu in a statement on Friday evening.
Recall that Tinubu’s legal team, led by Wole Olanipekun SAN, had in its final address to the court threatened that, “Any other interpretation different from theirs will lead to absurdity, chaos, anarchy and alteration of the very intention of the legislature.”
But Obi’s lawyers disagreed saying instead that what will lead to anarchy is where the rule of law is trampled upon or truncated, noting that in such situations anarchy reigns supreme.
According to Obi, “A sentence in the 2nd-3rd Respondents’ address alarmed the Petitioners and millions of Nigerians. The 2nd-3rd Respondents went too low and abandoned discretion when they claimed as follows: “Our submission is that the Petitioners are inviting anarchy by their ventilation of this issue of non-transmission of results electronically, by INEC.”
Obi’s legal team noted that they found Tinubu’s outburst as “a cheap, misguided, and destructive blackmail clearly intended to target the country’s judicialism and constitutionalism. It also aims at cannibalising our democracy”
The statement from Obi’s camp says further: “The legal team also noted that the careless and absurd statements of the 2nd and 3rd Respondents intend to raise the issue of insecurity if the Petitioners were to emulate the bad example of the 2nd-3rd Respondents but remarked that such will never happen because of the petitioner’s discipline and peaceful disposition and believe in the rule of law.
“Still underscoring the pointlessness and the supererogatory of the Respondent’s threat, OBI’S legal team wondered “When has it become offensive for Petitioners to canvass a ground prescribed for the challenge of an election in section 134(1)(b) of the Electoral Act 2022?
“The legal eggheads attributed the needless flare-up and effusion of the Respondents to desperation taken too far which can be extremely dangerous.
““Let the 2nd-3rd Respondents know that where the rule of law is trampled upon or truncated, anarchy reigns supreme!””