PDP, LP knock APC over alleged plot to intimidate PEPC

Why Tribunal’s judgment has Tinubu's watermark

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) on Monday condemned attempt to intimidate the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).

The party said threat by lawyers of President Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC), addressed in a letter to PEPC is a pre-emptive move to intimidate the judiciary.

The PDP in a statement said: “The statement by the lawyers in the said written address, threatening crisis and anarchy in the country in the event of the court ruling that their clients did not meet the constitutionally required 25 per cent votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), is subversive, an affront to democratic order and assault on corporate existence of the nation.”

The PDP’s statement issued by its national publicity secretary, Debo Ologunagba, declared that: “It is alarming and disturbing that the APC externalised to the public their final written address, in which they also threatened national peace, if the court upholds the clear provisions of Section 134 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), with regard to mandatory and statutory requirements for which a candidate in a presidential election can be declared winner.”

The PDP said the threats, either through counsel for, or officials of the APC, were calculated to intimidate and harass the judiciary and Nigerians.

PDP held that the intent of APC was to blackmail the court and emasculate independence of the judiciary to discharge its duties in accordance with dictates of the law.

It said: “This action is ostensibly to set the stage to orchestrate violent crisis in various parts of the country with the intention to further blackmail the PEPC. We ask, why is the APC externalising their final written address to the public? Is the APC being pre-emptive and now seeks to heighten tension, subvert the judicial process and trigger anarchy, having realised the weakness of their case before the PEPC?”

Also, Labour Party (LP), in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Obiora Ifoh, said legal interpretation of the law, as provided for in the Constitution, on 25 per cent of lawful votes cast in the FCT cannot “lead to absurdity, chaos, anarchy and alteration of the very intention of the legislature.”

The statement noted: “The truth of the matter is that there are no sentiments, when it comes to matters of law. The law is the law, and once the law has stipulated the manner and how a matter must be carried out, it must follow that pattern.

“If the law has stated the requirement that a presidential candidate must meet before he can be declared, there is no shortcut to it. Therefore, if the Constitution, which is the ground norm of the law in Nigeria, has stated clearly that you must score at least 25 per cent in FCT before the president can be declared, anything short of that cannot remedy it.

“We insist that no amount of threats from the APC on judges in the tribunal can change the processes and requirements that the law has put in place. It must be followed and that is the position of Labour Party.”

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