PEPC Judgement: Labour Party raises alarm over pronouncement by Justice Mary Odili

Ahead of September 6, 2023 ruling of the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, the Labour Party has described as worrisome a pronouncement by retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Mary Odili, on the upcoming judgement.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh, who in a press statement, expressed the party’s concerns in Abuja, on Tuesday September 5, said the party found it necessary to draw public attention to unfolding developments in the country ahead of Wednesday’s ruling of the PEPC.

“It has become necessary for the Labour Party to draw the attention of the public and indeed democratic watchers to some unfolding developments in the country ahead of tomorrow’s ruling of the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC,” Ifoh said in the statement.

According to him, the unguarded statement from the former Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Mary Odili in Abuja last week at a colloquium to mark the 25th anniversary of the elevation of a renowned jurist, JK Gadzama to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and the boasting of some persons, serving Ministers and notable legislators about the outcome leaves his party in shock.

The statement further reads: “When those who should know the importance of the sanctity of the judiciary descend to the arena of abusing it with their preemptive utterances just to show loyalty and support to their interests, we as a party see this as unfortunate and dangerous to our democratic journey as a nation.

“We note also the needless lavish showering of praises on the legal counsels of both APC and Candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu by the retired Justice when the gathering was not theirs. We find this extremely undignified of a renowned jurist who rose to the peak of her career in the country's apex court and who as the chairperson of the body of benchers, should be at the forefront of defending the virtuousness of the courts.

“Also curious to every discerning mind watching the unfolding events in Nigeria since the February 25th presidential election is the fact that the PEPC that refused live television coverage of the hearings of the petition, and is now anxious to have the conclusion beamed live.

“What is it that has happened between the hearing period and the delivery of the judgment that the live coverage which they claimed was a policy issue changed suddenly at the delivery point? 

“We are aware of the efforts of the agents of the States to orchestrate problems and blame them on the political opposition. We wish to emphasize that it is the right of the people in a democracy to demonstrate and the obligation of state security agents to protect the demonstrators and those not demonstrating. 

“Meanwhile, we implore Nigerians to remain calm and peaceful, abide by the rule of law, and understand that this matter has not reached its logical and final conclusion.

“Our concern as a critical stakeholder in Nigeria's project, especially the democratic evolution is that what is being destroyed with all these clever by half playing on people’s intelligence is Nigeria as a nation not necessarily an individual.

“Anybody who loves this country should appreciate the importance of due process and the rule of law because, without it, this country is going nowhere.

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