By Peter Obi, Onitsha
Yesterday, 6 September 2023, the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) finally delivered its long-awaited judgments on the Petitions challenging the outcome of the presidential election held on 25 February 2023. This judgment was delivered within the statutory time frame under the extant statutes. We acknowledge the Court’s contributions to due process and the seeming attempt to strengthen our democracy.
As petitioners in this case, we respect the views and rulings of the Court, but we disagree with the Court’s reasoning and conclusions in the judgment it delivered. It is my intention as a presidential candidate and the intention of the Labour Party to challenge this judgment by way of appeal immediately, as allowed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The PEPC has rendered its judgment, but that esteemed body is not the final arbiter. The responsibility now falls on the Supreme Court. I do know that judgment is not coterminous with justice. I implore Nigerians to remain focused, steadfast, and peaceful; abide by the rule of law, and understand that this matter has not reached its logical conclusion.
Our legal team has already received our firm instruction to file an appeal against the decision. I shall not relent in the quest for justice, not necessarily for myself but indeed for our teeming supporters all over the country whose mandate to us at the polls was regrettably truncated by INEC.
The strength and value of our democracy reside in solid national institutions and our confidence in them. Electoral litigations will be almost unnecessary and nonexistent if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) discharges its statutory functions creditably, transparently, and with discernible fairness. When that body fails, as it did recently, thus subverting the will of Nigerian voters, the recourse to the judiciary becomes imperative, as is now the case.
I thank every Nigerian who has supported our cause and campaign for a New Nigeria characterized by fairness, equity, justice, the rule of law, peace, prosperity, inclusiveness, sustainable growth, and development. A New Nigeria is possible and achievable. I especially thank our legal team, the Labour Party and Obidient Family, and all those who showed up daily during the court trials. God bless you all, and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
▪︎ Obi is the Labour Party (LP) Presidential Candidate.