The judgement of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) scheduled to be delivered tomorrow, Wednesday, September 6, 2023, has been leaked, a coalition of over 20 rights and democracy groups based in South-East Nigeria alleged yesterday. The coalition comprises the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, the South-East Zone of the Civil Liberties Organization, and the South-East Coalition of Human Rights and Democracy Organization.
The three groups in represented in an emergency Joint-Statement signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Comrade Aloysius Emeka Attah and Prof Jerry Chukwuokoro respectively, said: “We jointly make bold to say that the alarm raised by Nigeria’s Spy Police, DSS, over “plans by some persons or groups to stage violent protest regarding the long-awaited judgment of the 2023 Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal”, scheduled for Wednesday, September 6, 2023, is ‘a clear case of leakage and confirmation that the case will be dismissed on technical grounds’. The DSS alarm is also ill-conceived and politically motivated in its entirety and cast a serious doubt on the neutrality, impartiality and credibility of the long-awaited Judgment. It further raises a serious question mark on the integrity and independence of the Five Justices of the Court of Appeal handling the case.”
Continuing, the coalition said: “The alarm by the DSS is correctly logically interpreted to mean that while the PEPT transited its information to the Parties to the case of its readiness to deliver its verdict on Wednesday, Sept 6, 2023, it turned around and leaked the Panel’s verdict outcome to the Executive Arm in the present Government of Nigeria including its internal and external spy police establishments particularly the DSS; warranting its ill-conceived and politically motivated panicky and intimidating alarm. The DSS, therefore, was chronically illiterate in its handling of the subject matter under discourse. For purposes of neutrality, impartiality, credibility, safety and popularity of the long-awaited Judgment, the DSS ought not to have issued the alarm and If it reasonably, credibly and neutrally suspected any planned “violent protest” in connection with the long awaited Judgment, it would have been literately and credibly handled by sharing such intelligence with other security agencies without publicity and creation of panics and fears fears-borne out of desperation, partisanship, repression and abuse of statutorily and constitutionally delegated responsibilities.
“With the DSS alarm, therefore, it is most likely correct to say that the 2023 Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has already told Nigerians and international watchers through the DSS the direction of its long-awaited Judgment: “dismissal of the case on the grounds of technicalities; devoid of meritorious consideration”.”
The statement noted that; “The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law had observed in a joint-statement dated August 5, 2023; issued with the International College of Democracy and Human Rights (Enugu), the Eastern Democracy and Human Rights Coalition, Port Harcourt and the South-East Based Coalition of Democracy and Human Rights Organizations, Enugu that “apart from a corrupt judge being worst than a demented man running amok with a sharp knife in a crowded market, he also hides under the cloak of ‘technicalities and political orbiters’ as his ‘ratio dicidendi’ or facts derived from weak laws or legal loopholes”. Intersociety also pointed out that “majority of Nigerian Judges and ‘pro establishment lawyers’ have earned ‘notorious and crooked expertise’ in ‘legal technicalities (loopholes) and political orbiters” and that these ‘crooked feats’ so achieved especially since 2015 have left Nigeria with the internationally rated or measured status of second to none in the world; to the extent that in international jurisprudential discourse, the growth of law in Nigeria amounts to under-growth of law in democracy compliant countries with international jurisprudential best practices in that killer-laws such as legal technicalities or loopholes thrive and shape the laws of countries with endemic and pandemic corruption under which Nigeria is unarguably and inescapably classified”.”