PEPT verdict: Diaspora group urges Supreme Court to restore Nigerians’ hope


By Olugbenga Salami

Following the the judgment of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, PEPT on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 which affirmed the election of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Diaspora Action for Democracy in Africa, DADA, has
urged the Supreme Court to restore the hope of Nigerians in the judiciary “by dispensing justice fairly and without bias, guided by the Constitution.”

The group, specifically asked the apex court to handle the appeal by the opposition parties and their candidates based on merits of the cases presented, and not employing superfluous technicalities that undermine true justice.

DADA, in a statement signed by Mr. Uche Martin, noted that the decision of the PEPT to uphold the result of the 2023 presidential election has disappointed many Nigerians and stressed the need to the judiciary to always uphold the constitution.

“This decision of PEPT has deflated the morale of millions of Nigerians who cast their votes in the hope of obtaining the good governance the country desperately needs to emerge from the hardship and suffering the masses are experiencing”, the group stated.

“It is our hope that the PEPT judgment will be carefully reviewed at the Supreme Court, and the apex court will be strong defenders of the Constitution and issue an objective and fair judgment, without bias or favour, based on the evidence presented before it.

“We also appeal to all Nigerians to remain calm but vigilant as active citizens.

“We have previously expressed concern at limitations placed on freedom of the press, freedom of citizens to peaceful protest and other human rights violations.

“The absence of these fundamental freedoms is signalling that democracy in the Nigerian State is in regression, a situation which should never be allowed to fester or be perpetuated by any means,” it stressed.

The Africans in diaspora-based organisation said that reports of glaring irregularities and non-conformity to the 2022 Electoral Act by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC is regrettable and deeply troubling.

DADA referred particularly to a damming EU report about the Nigeria 2023 elections.

The group, however, expressed confidence that the Supreme Court will uphold Nigeria’s constitution with regards to the several issues raised at the Tribunal.

It also said available reports indicate that the PEPT did not base its decision on points of Law but rather lends credence to widespread suspicion that the Judges have been compromised or coerced.

These, the group noted have dashed hope of millions of Nigerians who believed in the Independence of judiciary.

It further noted that this is a watershed moment in the country’s history where the popular notion that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man appears more of a myth than reality.