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Justice Odili’s PEPC Pre-Judgement Remarks Worrisome – LP



The Labour Party has expressed worry over what it described as a preemptive pronouncement by retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Mary Odili, about the upcoming judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, scheduled for Wednesday.

Obiora Ifoh, the party’s national publicity secretary, highlighted the party’s worries in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

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He clarified that, in advance of the PEPC decision on Wednesday, the party felt it important to alert the people about current events in the nation.

Ifoh stated, “The unguarded remarks made by Justice Mary Odili, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, last week in Abuja at a colloquium to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the promotion of renowned lawyer JK Gadzama to the status of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN.

“And our party is shocked by the bragging of several people, including serving Ministers and important parliamentarians, over the outcome.

“We as a party view this as terrible and hazardous to our democratic path as a country when those who ought to understand the significance of the sanctity of the judiciary descend to the arena of abusing it with their anticipatory comments only to show allegiance and support to their interests.

“We also take note of the retired Justice’s unwarranted profuse praise of the legal counsels for the APC and Bola Ahmed Tinubu although the gathering was not theirs.

“We find this incredibly dishonourable of a renowned jurist who reached the pinnacle of her career in the nation’s Apex court and who, as Chairperson of the body of benchers, should be at the forefront of defending the morality of the courts,” they write.

“Also curious to every discerning mind watching the unfolding events in Nigeria since the February 25th Presidential election is the fact that the PEPC that refused live television coverage of the hearings of the petition, and is now anxious to have the conclusion beamed live.

“What is it that has happened between the hearing period and the delivery of the judgment that the live coverage which they claimed was a policy issue changed suddenly at the delivery point?”

“We are aware of the efforts of the agents of the States to orchestrate issues and attribute them to the political opposition,” the party spokesperson continued.

“We want to emphasise that in democracies, people have the right to demonstrate, and that state security personnel have a duty to both protect those who are demonstrating and those who are not.        

“We appeal upon Nigerians to maintain composure and peace, uphold the law, and recognise that this issue has not come to a logical and definitive conclusion.

“Our concern as a critical stakeholder in Nigeria’s project especially the democratic evolution is that what is being destroyed with all these clever by half playing on people’s intelligence is Nigeria as a nation not necessarily an individual.

“Anyone who loves this nation should understand the value of due process and the rule of law because, without it, this nation is doomed to failure.”

On Friday, retired Justice Mary Odili expressed confidence in the legal prowess of Mr Tinubu and the APC’s lawyers, suggesting their combined legal efforts would “at the end of the day” guarantee victory at the tribunal and put to rest all forms of speculatory legal dissection of the electoral disputes in court.

“And I am happy professional…(sic), those who are well equipped in litigation matters and electoral disputes, Chief Olanipekun is a master and our Attorney General recently sworn in. These are experts,” asserted the retired justice. 

“I am confident that having such persons here including our chief host Chief JK Gadzama. There is confidence that at the end of the day, a resetting of the mind would be taking place and we would keep things  in perspective in the full knowledge that elections are seasonal and litigations relating thereto,” she said.


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