Nigerian opposition leader tells electoral court that absence of rule of law will be anarchy in final response
Peter Obi the Nigerian opposition leader and presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in final address to the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) said “anarchy only reigns where the rule of law is trampled upon.”
Speaking through his legal team at the PEPT, Friday, Obi who is challenging the election of Bola Tinubu as president responded to the written address by Tinubu’s lawyers who argued that an interpretation of the law requiring 25 percent of the total lawful votes cast 24 states and the Federal Capital Territory could lead to anarchy.
Both the LP and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are contesting the results of the February 25 presidential election.
In a LP press release the opposition stated it had given a detailed response to the assertion of Tinubu’s legal team “that if the Court interprets the Electoral Act section 134 against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the 2nd and 3rd Respondents in the petition, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shetimma it might lead to breakdown of law and order.”
“Recall that Tinubu’s legal team, led by Wole Olanipekun, had in their final address to the court threatened that, “Any other interpretation different from theirs will lead to absurdity, chaos, anarchy and alteration of the very intention of the legislature.
“However, Peter Obi’s lawyers led by Dr Livy Uzoukwu and Onyechi Ikpeazu disagreed saying instead that what will lead to anarchy is where the rule of law is trampled upon or truncated, that in such situations anarchy reigns supreme!” The statement read.
According to Obi, “A sentence in the 2nd-3rd Respondents’ address alarmed the Petitioners and millions of Nigerians. The 2nd-3rd Respondents went too low and abandoned discretion when they claimed as follows: “Our submission is that the Petitioners are inviting anarchy by their ventilation of this issue of non-transmission of results electronically, by INEC.”
“Obi’s legal team noted that they found Tinubu’s outburst as “a cheap, misguided, and destructive blackmail clearly intended to target the country’s judicialism and constitutionalism. It also aims at cannibalizing our democracy.
“The legal team also noted that the careless and absurd statements of the 2nd and 3rd Respondents intend to raise the issue of insecurity if the Petitioners were to emulate the bad example of the 2nd-3rd Respondents but remarked that such will never happen because of the petitioner’s discipline and peaceful disposition and believe in the rule of law.“
Still underscoring the pointlessness and the supererogatory of the Respondent’s threat, Obi’s legal team wondered, ‘When has it become offensive for Petitioners to canvass a ground prescribed for the challenge of an election in section 134(1)(b) of the Electoral Act 2022?
“The legal eggheads attributed the needless flare-up and effusion of the Respondents to desperation taken too far which can be extremely dangerous.
“Let the 2nd-3rd Respondents know that where the rule of law is trampled upon or truncated, anarchy reigns supreme.” The LP statement stressed.
The PEPT is expected to pass a ruling soon.
Akowe with reports from Abuja