12th September, 2023

National Democratic Coalition, NADECO has reacted to the judgment of the Presidential Elections Petitions Tribunal of Wednesday 06 September 2023 that upheld the electoral victory of Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the February 15 Presidential elections.

In a statement, NADECO, while restating its position, referred to the late reggae icon, Bob Nesta Marley who once quipped that; "You Will Never Find Justice In A World Where Criminals Make Law", and he was right.

NADECO states thus; “The judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) has not come to NADECO as a surprise, but it has once again, proven in a very glaringly manner to the world that NADECO was right when it refused to recognize the Tinubu administration because it is illegitimate, illegal, criminal, and a product of mafia enterprise. PEPT's verdict yesterday is a great scar on the destiny of our great country. It demonstrates what the military president, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida once averred, "Injustice is a scar on the face of humanity."

NADECO was right then, it remains right today and it will continue to maintain that this administration does not represent the people of Nigeria. NADECO was disappointed but not surprised by Justice Mary Odili's dangerously nauseating remarks while the matter was still before the tribunal. NADECO was not surprised considering Justice Odili's record of alleged corruption while she was on the Supreme Court. Those who knew her then had heaved a sigh of relief when she retired but it would appear disheartening to know that her allegedly perceived corrupt practices have come to stay. Her actions confirm that she is a true graduate of the “School Of Corruption Of The Judiciary”.

Normally, a retired Justice would have maintained her dignity and resisted the tempting urge to take rubbish from the already image-damaged judiciary. Instead, she took sides with the corrupt and illegitimate administration. Equally dangerous was the impunity she displayed when she openly gave her own ruling days before the official PEPT not minding any ethical implications. Her action goes to confirm the rumors that she and others were responsible for drafting the judgment.

Let us state unequivocally that though we agree with some aspects of the judgment yesterday as it relates with the decision on the Shettima issue because, the law requires him to have knowingly committed the offense. NADECO vehemently disagrees with the decision on the drug and certificate issues that decided in favour of Tinubu.

We differ and disagree with the court on its simplistic position on the Abuja 25% matter.

The conclusion of the Judges' stand on the 25% requirement in Abuja is as simplistic as it is illogical. It leaves a very sour taste.

Law is logic. Moreover, it is illogical and indeed, insane to give a special status to the FCT that is higher than the rest 36 states, and this they might say has no parallel in history the Judges and others might have alleged.

We disagree largely with the Judges that "those who hinge their arguments on the unfounded notion of mandatory 25% in FCT are either clueless of the constitution or pathologically mischievous (or both)."

NADECO also wonders if the Court did not bother to test all the hypotheses and empirical evidence presented by independent observers such as the European Union.

NADECO disagrees with the Court's handling of IREV evidence against the opposition political parties.

NADECO frowns and disagrees that INEC can set out regulations and guidelines and blatantly flout them simply because the law initially allowed the INEC to choose their preferred procedure. In this case, INEC is therefore, bound by whatever route it chooses.

The Court queries that the petitioners should have gone to the respective states to obtain INEC's certified documents in a presidential election; the same documents the INEC Chairman used in announcing election results in Abuja. NADECO concedes that this might be the position of the law but it is rather absurd. The least the law can do for an election petitioner is to compel INEC to handover verified documents immediately.

For us, these are not the main problem. The most ridiculous pronouncement yesterday was by Justice Ugo. He is entitled to his position, and we respect it. Nevertheless, we are free to find it ridiculous. This is because he propounded the probability test and applied it in a bizarre manner.

To paraphrase what he posited, if INEC had faked the glitch and manipulated the results of the elections, then how did Peter Obi clean up the votes in the Southeast and Abuja? He further stated that if INEC manipulated the results and left Obi with so many votes, then INEC must be a stupid manipulator.

We feel the respected Judge was overzealous. He probably did not address his mind to the fact that a smart manipulator would keep one eye on credibility. Also, in this instance, we are forced to ask if the judge was not grandstanding?

At some point, his tone and drift was that of a Counsel for the Respondent. NADECO respects all the Judges, however, there are many aspects of September 6th judgment that have left election riggers in a celebratory mood. It is not the fault of the Judges. Our laws are poorly drafted thereby leaving interpretation of laws subject to carefully written arbitrariness.

Unfortunately, once the Nigerian Juror makes up his mind to a predetermined end, it does not matter how well crafted the constitution is, he/she will still spin a yarn to get to the predetermined end. It is therefore sad that the Judges made a better defense for Tinubu than the lawyers of Bola Tinubu.

NADECO's sincere worry is that professional legal practice will experience a decline as there will no longer be any incentive for a Legal practitioner to work hard and smart, in winning a case anymore in Nigeria, particularly so, with this sort of cash and carry judgment. All that is required is to be on the side of the man with the higher cash, power and connection.

NADECO therefore urges Nigerians to remain resolute and to continue to see the Tinubu administration as a passing interloper. After all, Thomas Jefferson once said; "When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." Nigerians must be ready to fight to defend our democracy. Nigerians must also know that since the judiciary has failed and therefore, the only option is for the people to dispense justice by themselves. In the universal rule, if what belongs to you was taken away from you and the judiciary fails to restore it back to you, the only option left is for you to get it by yourself peacefully.

In 1962, John F. Kennedy famously said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

Nigerians should get ready to demand and get what belongs to them following the disappointment by the so-called "Judiciary." If Nigerians do not fight for themselves, the big question is; who will fight for them, the judiciary?

Signed by:

Dr. Llord Ukwu

Executive Director Of NADECO USA

Comrade David Adenekan

Publicity Secretary, NADECO USA

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