In a statement he issued on Tuesday, Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential flagbearer in the 2023 election, appealed to the judiciary to safeguard democracy and the rule of law in Nigeria. He made this plea after the apex court adjourned ruling on his petition against Bola Tinubu of the APC, who was declared the winner of the February 23 poll.
Obi, who once governed Anambra State, stated that the rule of law is endangered when people doubt the impartiality of the judiciary. He described the judiciary as the final resort of the ordinary man and the defender of democracy. He expressed optimism that the Supreme Court would do justice in his matter and return the mandate of millions of Nigerians who voted for him.
He also urged the judiciary to shield public office from “identity fraudsters,” whom he accused of using fake certificates and credentials to run for office. He said that such practices compromise the integrity and credibility of public institutions and diminish public confidence. He implored the National Judicial Council to probe and punish any judicial officer who connives with such fraudsters.
Obi’s petition is premised on the grounds that Tinubu was ineligible to run for the election, having presented a forged certificate of academic qualification from a non-existent university. He also alleged that there were widespread irregularities, violence, and intimidation during the election, which influenced the outcome. He asked the Supreme Court to annul Tinubu’s election and declare him the winner.
Tinubu, on the other hand, has refuted the allegations and insisted that he won the election fair and square. He said that Obi is a bad loser who is trying to overturn the will of the people.