Ben Peters, Abuja
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. John Mayaki, has condemned the inflammatory anti-Judiciary rhetoric gripping the country, adding that if allowed to continue, it is inimical to national cohesion and security.
It is imperative to note that the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) has reserved judgment in two separate petitions filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as well as Peter Obi and the Labour Party (LP). These petitions challenge the Independent National Electoral Commission’s declaration of President Bola Tinubu (APC) as the winner of the February 25 presidential election.
As we await the judgment, some political blackmailers have upped their game, targeting the judicial arm of the government.
Mayaki stated that this is a crucial phase, and those who believe election petition cases can be won by mere sentiments and the erection of massive billboards with inscriptions targeted at blackmailing the judges would be disappointed. Cases are won based on the merit of the argument and not the amount of blackmail employed, he said.
According to Mayaki, “We’ve seen the blackmail against the former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola. We’ve seen the one against the Chief Justice of Nigeria. We’ve seen the one against Justice Mary Odili, among others. These elements have escalated to mounting billboards across the nooks and crannies of the federal capital city just to exert pressure on the judges handling the petitions. However, I urge the judges to shun every form of intimidation and blackmail and remain focused. It’s a test of their strength of character, honesty, and integrity.”
Mayaki further called on the judiciary to unite against its attackers, pointing out that the erection of “All Eyes on the Judiciary” billboards in Abuja, the seat of power, likely couldn’t have occurred without the authorization of the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi. This is especially true as it carries the imprimatur of Labour Party members known as “Obidents.”
“We must allow the justices to carry out their duties without fear and attack. My concern is that this cyberbullying and stalking may escalate to physical attacks if not curtailed. Who says putting judicial officers under a climate of fear, intimidation, and harassment will change their considered opinions? It certainly won’t. A bad case is a bad case, nothing more,” he concluded.