Nigeria: Buhari's Tribunal Victory - PDP Governors Back Party On Supreme Court Appeal

16 September 2019

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors forum has supported the party's decision to appeal the judgment of the presidential election petition tribunal upholding the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The party had rejected the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, describing it as "provocative, barefaced subversion of justice and direct assault on the integrity of our nation's justice system".

The party said,"it is particularly shocked that the tribunal failed to point to justice despite the flawless evidence laid before it, showing that President Buhari was not only unqualified to contest the election but also did not score the majority of valid votes at the polls".

The tribunal on Wednesday dismissed the petition filed by the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

In the judgement by the five-member tribunal read by Garba Mohammed, the tribunal ruled each of the five arguments by the PDP and Mr Abubakar against them.

Mr Mohammed said the petitioners failed to prove their petition beyond reasonable doubt and the petition was dismissed in its entirety.

Speaking on behalf of the governors, the chairman of the forum and Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, said the judgement stood justice on its head, and if not challenged at the apex court, may constitute a cog in the wheel of the nation's nascent democracy.

"After painstakingly and prudently understudying line after line of the judgement, several holes were picked and countless anomalies identified by us. We would be doing a greater disservice and moral injustice to our party, our democracy and Nigerians in general if we turn blind eyes, swallow such bile and applaud that rape of justice.

"The judgement to say the least has further painted our judiciary with darker colours, only this time around with a never-before-seen blemished coat of tar. However, we are hopeful that the Supreme Court will rewrite that history by ensuring that such stains and tar are removed from our judicial archives.

"The apex court should know that its integrity is at stake and in order to avoid it been shredded to particles, must employ all known technicalities to save our nation and the future of Nigerians yet unborn from a development that may further make us a perpetual laughing stock amongst the comity of nations. And Nigerians are very hopeful that these wrongs will be righted," he added.

"Without any iota of trepidation, it is most paramount for us to once more restate and reconfirm our undiluted loyalty, deserving support and maximum commitment to our great party and the Atiku-Obi Presidential ticket. This is our stand, now and in the future. Posterity would judge us harshly if we did otherwise."

The PDP governor's decision is in contrast with the position earlier adopted by one of its influential members, Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State.

Mr Wike congratulated the president and accused some of his colleagues of secretly visiting the president at night.

Mr Wike said it was better to congratulate Mr Buhari publicly than to secretly visit the president at night.

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