The Labour Party presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi, has expressed his disapproval of recent happenings around the Nigerian judiciary ahead of the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).
The former Anambra State governor frowned upon alleged attempts by some elements he described as ‘agents of retrogression’ to create distractions for the courts and judges.
Obi’s reaction followed a recent spate of allegations suggesting collusion between the judiciary and the presidency over the upcoming verdict of the presidential tribunal.
A report made the rounds alleging that President Bola Tinubu placed a phone call to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, requesting favour in the ruling in petitions against his electoral victory. ADVERTISEMENT
Another rumour also circulated online alleging that an Appeal Court Justice and a member of the PEPC panel had resigned after rejecting overtures from the presidency to compromise the case before him.
Reacting to the developments, Obi warned those behind such orchestrations to desist from distracting the nation’s judiciary from the critical national assignment before them.
His feeling was conveyed in a statement signed by the Head, Obi-Datti Media office, Diran Onifade, in Abuja, on Friday, July 21, 2023.
The media officer said, “We find absolutely needless and utterly unacceptable some of the curious happenings around our Judiciary lately, starting with the threat of anarchy and chaos should the ruling party’s candidate be legally removed by the Presidential Election Petition Court (PECP);
“…the allegations of a telephone conversation between the esteemed Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukoyade Ariwoola with some persons, which the Supreme Court has since denied, and most recently, the bizarre fake news claiming that one of the panellists at the ongoing hearing before the PEPC had resigned. ADVERTISEMENT
“Without a doubt, those behind these strange contrivances have their devious motives, which certainly are not in the national interest.
“Our Judiciary should not be burdened by these distractions when their entire focus should be on the critical national assignment, which requires their total concentration and everybody’s support and cooperation to conclude.
“It’s indisputable that the future of this country is tied to the outcome of the Judiciary’s assignment. Every hand must be on deck to help them pilot the ship of Nigeria State to safety away from perdition.
“Obi-Datti Media office, therefore, wishes to call on all patriots desirous of seeing a new Nigeria to desist from any action that may hinder the delivery of justice by their Lordships.
“Relatedly, we also want to use this medium to warn these rogue Troll and Fog Machine agents to desist from ongoing attempts to smear or entrap Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed under whatever ploy. ADVERTISEMENT
“We recall at least seven failed fake demarketing and discrediting campaigns against our Principals.
“We are all the more concerned about plans to escalate these desperate acts ahead of the PEPC judgment. Nigerians must not be gullible to believe or accept such deep, fake, and dubious ploys, all in the name of partisan politics.
“While we continue to appreciate our security agencies’ efforts to secure Nigeria, we implore them to ensure that our Principals are safe and secure in their persons, movement and properties as they go about their public and private endeavours.
“Obi-Datti Media office, therefore, wishes to call on all patriots desirous of seeing a new Nigeria to desist from any action that may hinder the delivery of justice by their Lordships or other forms of nefarious activities that may heat up the national polity.”