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Election Tribunal: Stop Pressuring Court, CSOs Caution PDP, LP

Furthermore, the coalition leveled allegations against the Civil Society Situation Room and prominent legal expert Olisa Agbakoba, claiming that their evaluations of the 2023 general election were inconsistent.

By Johnson Atoukudu:

The Nigerian Youth Network for Good Governance and Sustainable Democracy, a coalition of civil society organizations, has alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) are using manipulative methods to pressure the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

According to a statement issued on Saturday, the coalition expressed concern over the disrespectful comments made by supporters of the LP and PDP regarding the election’s results, which have turned the tribunal proceedings into a spectacle.

“While the elections produced a president, vice president, 28 state governors (minus the six states where elections are off-season), 109 senators, and 360 members of the House of Representatives, supporters of the Labour Party and the Peoples Democratic Party have been inconsolable, employing both conventional and unorthodox means to prove that the 2023 presidential election was rigged.

“At the same time, both parties have filed their respective petitions at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, which is currently sitting. One would have expected that as law-abiding citizens seeking to truly serve the country, the presidential candidates of the LP and PDP and their supporters would refrain from canvassing the issues raised in their petitions outside the Tribunal,” the statement reads.

Furthermore, the coalition leveled allegations against the Civil Society Situation Room and prominent legal expert Olisa Agbakoba, claiming that their evaluations of the 2023 general election were inconsistent. The coalition also criticized the persistent criticism directed at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, deeming it as driven by emotion.

“Also recently, Olisa Agbakoba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, in a tweet, congratulated President Bola Tinubu on winning the election but asked the President to sack the INEC chairman that conducted the election. We consider his position self-contradictory, dishonest, and patronising. You cannot congratulate a man for winning an election and then ask him to sack the person that conducted the same election.

“We also view the incessant and virulent attacks on INEC and its Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, as condescending, emotive, subjective, and irrational. While we agree that the 2023 Presidential Election was not perfect, there is no concrete evidence to show that the INEC Chairman rigged the election in favour of the APC as alleged or broke any electoral law.

“After a careful study of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act 2022, we are convinced that in declaring Bola Tinubu as President-Elect at the National Collation Centre, Prof. Mahmood only performed his statutory role and did not break any known law. On the contrary, he would have broken the law with serious consequences if he had failed to make that declaration. Thankfully, the law also gives aggrieved parties the opportunity to challenge the outcome of the election in court, which they have rightly done”, they added.

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