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Tribunal: Judiciary now under trial, says Atiku’s aide

A spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign, Daniel Bwala, has said the Nigeria’s judiciary is now under trial to prove its integrity…

A spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign, Daniel Bwala, has said the Nigeria’s judiciary is now under trial to prove its integrity and independence through its handling of the electoral petition against Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the president-elect.

Presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar has filed a petition to challenge the declaration of Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the presidential election held on February 25.

Atiku, in the petition, marked: CA/PEPC/05/2023, which he lodged before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) sitting at the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, applied for the withdrawal of the Certificate of Return that was issued to Tinubu by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He maintained that the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the presidential election was “invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.”

Speaking to Arise TV concerning the legal battle, Bwala said that there was no compliance with the electoral act by INEC in declaring Tinubu as the winner of the election.

He said, “The grounds for our petition are contained in Section 134. Number one case is that there’s no compliance with the electoral act. The election of Bola Ahmed Tinubu is therefore invalid by virtue of the fact that there was no compliance with the provision of the electoral act. We argue that the election is invalid because of corruption and corrupt practices.

“We also brought another ground that he did not score the majority of the lawful votes cast, and the forth one we also said that at the time he was declared the winner, he didn’t qualify. We have evidence to prove and facts to support them.

“I have absolute confidence in the judicial process, but whether this judiciary will deliver is outside the precedence of the judiciary. I hold the view that naturally, the penchant of the APC and the government and the history suggests that they will not want to allow them to be independent in the delivery of justice in this matter.

“They’ve shown that pre-election and after election. You’ve heard the president of the country saying, most recently, that the election of Tinubu has come to stay. But he’s not a court of law. And that kind of statement can be deemed as preemptive to the court and preemptive to the outcome.

“So the judiciary is now under trial, because the election is not just a test of the will of the people; it’s also a test of the supremacy and independence of the court of appeal and the Supreme Court in adjudicating matters.”

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