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PEPC: NADECO US faults ruling on Abuja 25% status, IREV Evidence



By Sola Omoniyi, Lagos

The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) US chapter has faulted the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) on the mandatory 25 per cent status of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, describing it as illogical.

The group also disagreed with the court’s handling of IREV evidence against the opposition political parties.

The five-man panel, in the judgment delivered by the lead judge, Justice Haruna Tsammani, affirmed the victory of President Bola Tinubu and dismissed the claims filed by the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, that 25 per cent of votes in the FCT, Abuja, is required to win the presidential election. Justice Tsammani, in the ruling, said Abuja is like other states and that FCT residents have no special privileges as the petitioners claimed.

However, NADECO US, in a statement jointly signed by its Executive Director, Dr Llord Ukwu, and the Publicity Secretary, David Adenekan, said: “We differ and disagree with the court on its simplistic position on the Abuja 25 per cent matter. The conclusion of the judges’ stand on the 25 per cent requirement in Abuja is as simplistic as it is illogical. It leaves a very sour taste.

“Law is logic. Moreover, it is illogical and, indeed, insane to give a special status to the FCT that is higher than the rest 36 states, and this they might say has no parallel in history, the judges and others might have alleged.

“We disagree largely with the judges that “those who hinge their arguments on the unfounded notion of mandatory 25 per cent in FCT are either clueless of the constitution or pathologically mischievous (or both).”

NADECO also wonders if the court did not bother to test all the hypotheses and empirical evidence presented by independent observers such as the European Union.

In disagreeing with the court’s handling of IREV evidence against the opposition political parties, NADECO said: “We frown and disagree that INEC can set out regulations and guidelines and blatantly flout them simply because the law initially allowed the INEC to choose their preferred procedure. In this case, INEC is, therefore, bound by whatever route it chooses.”

NADECO, while restarting its position, referred to the late reggae icon, Bob Nesta Marley, who once quipped that; “You Will Never Find Justice In A World Where Criminals Make Law”, and he was right.

NADECO further stated: “The judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) has not come to NADECO as a surprise, but it has, once again, proven in a very glaringly manner to the world that NADECO was right when it refused to recognise the Tinubu administration because it is illegitimate, illegal, criminal, and a product of mafia enterprise. PEPT’s verdict is a great scar on the destiny of our great country. It demonstrates what the (former) military president, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida once averred, “Injustice is a scar on the face of humanity…

“Let us state unequivocally that though we agree with some aspects of the judgment as it relates to the decision on the Shettima issue because the law requires him to have knowingly committed the offence. NADECO vehemently disagrees with the decision on the drug and certificate issues that decided in favour of Tinubu…

“Nigerians should get ready to demand and get what belongs to them following the disappointment by the so-called “Judiciary.” If Nigerians do not fight for themselves, the big question is; who will fight for them, the judiciary?”