The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has sounded the alarm over reports and allegations of conspiracies by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to influence the outcome of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, prior to the tribunal’s proceedings beginning on Monday.
The opposition party also urged the justices of the presidential election tribunal to maintain their integrity and resist any form of intimidation.
Debo Ologunagba, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, addressed the press at the party’s national secretariat and stated that the alleged planned assault by APC leaders on eminent Nigerians and democratic institutions, including the Judiciary, stemmed from APC’s apprehensions due to the weight of evidence against it and the continued refusal by the majority of Nigerians to accept the result of the flawed Presidential election.
Concerns exist in the public sphere regarding the reputation of certain individuals at the topmost levels of the APC, who have demonstrated the capacity and propensity to compromise democratic institutions in our nation.
“It is to be recalled that on Friday, May 5, 2023, our party raised the alarm over the widely condemned remarks made by the APC Presidential Candidate, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at the commissioning of some judiciary projects in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in which he attempted to corrupt, cultivate, and patronise the Judiciary.
“More alarming are allegations in the public sphere that certain APC leaders attempted to compromise the judiciary with heavy financial inducement and to orchestrate fabricated allegations of impropriety against judicial officers,” he stated.
Therefore, the PDP demanded that the APC and its leaders promptly come clean and publicly address Nigerians and the international community regarding the allegations and revelations that were already in the public domain.
“For emphasis, the majority of Nigerians are demanding a review of the February 25, 2023 presidential election because it was marred by widespread manipulations, open alteration of genuine election results from the Polling Units, allocation of fictitious figures to the All Progressives Congress (APC), and flagrant violation of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act, 2022, as well as INEC Manual and Guidelines by INEC itself in its conduct of the election
”INEC’s peculiar response to the petition of the PDP and our candidate, Atiku Abubakar, requesting the dismissal of our Petition is further evidence of the APC’s complicity, corruption, and compromise of INEC.
“INEC and the APC should be aware that the tribunal hearing is part of the electoral process. “The APC and INEC are advised to cease further efforts to impede the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal’s ability to administer justice in accordance with the law,” he said.
The party reiterated its call for the judiciary to resist and insulate itself from the alleged and reported theatrics of the APC in discharging its constitutional responsibilities as an independent and impartial arbitrator in the pending petition before the tribunal.
“It is imperative to state that INEC’s flagrant violations of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act, 2022, and the INEC Guidelines and Manual during the 2023 presidential election portend grave consequences for the country’s democracy and political stability.
”The only way to guarantee the peace, unity, and stability of our nation is to uphold the Will of the People as expressed at the Polling Units in the Presidential election on February 25, 2023, and the PDP is confident in the ability of the Judiciary to perform its Constitutional duties in this regard independently,” he stated.