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PEPT VERDICT: AFFIRMATION OF POPULAR MANDATE BY NIGERIANS TO TINUBU- OTUNBA BENJI

By Dupson Collins, 9th September, 2023

The Bashorun of Owo Kingdom, Otunba Benji Oloye has lauded the Tribunal judgment which affirmed the victory of President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima in the 2023 presidential election, saying the verdict was affirmation of popular mandate given to President Tinubu by Nigerians.

The Presidential Candidates of the People’s Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi challenged the outcome of the February 25 Poll won by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
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While congratulating the President and Vice for a resounding affirmation of their mandate, Otunba commended the five-member panel for painstakingly evaluated all the issues raised by the petitioners and refused to be cowed or intimidated by the petitioners.

” Prior to the judgment, the petitioners are using their supporters on social media to intimidate the justices forgetting that elections are not won on social media”.

Otunba said rather than presenting facts, figures and evidences before the Judges, the candidate of Labour Party and its legal team were relying on hearsay, speculations and emotion to win at the Tribunal.

He added that both the People’s Democratic Party and Labour Party lost at the Tribunal because they can’t prove their petition beyond reasonable doubt but looking for public sympathy that is alien to the law.

The Bashorun further said the 25 percent lacuna in the constitution as regard FCT by presidential candidate has been cleared as no state is superior to another, the Federal Capital inclusive.

” It does not make any sense prioritizing or giving special recognition to Abuja over other 36 states of the federation. Does it mean if you win 25 percent in Abuja and fail to meet the 25 percent requirements in 24 states, you will be declared president of Nigeria? Thank God the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has made clarification on it with the thrashing out of Labour Party petition”.

He noted that is within the constitutional right of Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi to approach the Supreme Court for appeal of the Tribunal judgement, saying nothing short of the Tribunal judgement would be meted out to them at the end of the futile exercise.

” Most of the cases brought before the Tribunal were pre election matters which ought not to have been brought before it in the first instance but the Justices have done the needful by not only thrashing their cases out but also fine them for wasting the time of the court on frivolous petitions”

Otunba urged Nigerians to continue to support Tinubu’s government in its drive to deliver the renewed Hope Agenda to the masses who overwhelmingly voted for All Progressive Congress.

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