Tension in Aso Rock as presidential tribunal delivers judgment

September 10, 2019
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There is emerging tension among the various stakeholders involved in the challenge of the victory of President Muhammadu buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 23 presidential election as the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal gets set to deliver judgment on Wednesday. The petition filed Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the PDP, itself, is challenging the declaration of President Buhari by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as winner of the February 23 presidential poll.

The proceedings generated controversy over the president’s WAEC certificate which, thereafter, President Buhari was reported to have admitted that he could not trace his secondary school certificate given the long period of obtaining the document. President Buhari had earlier sworn to an affidavit in court that his credentials are with the Nigerian Army which the Army authorities publicly denied possession.

Other controversies were generated in the proceedings.

Meanwhile, there are indications that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and the party government are becoming worked up as the tribunal on Tuesday disclosed the Wednesday, September 11 has been fixed for judgment. The judgment is anticipated to be an issue of uncertainty but there are suspicions that some stakeholders may be privy to what might have been decided before it is delivered.

The PDP is not left out of the panic. Several support groups of the PDP presidential candidate were already mobilizing for mass protest in suspicion that the tribunal may not deliver judgment that would prove justice is done in the suit. However, leaders of the various Atiku support groups have been working round the clock to pacify their members, appealing to them to be calm.

On the social media, “Atiku is coming” has become a daily ritual for those who believe in the PDP candidate, and having the feeling that he has a good case at the tribunal. Others, suspected to be working for President Buhari, also engaged in social media war on why Atiku should not come.

All the activities have been generating apprehension in the country.

Atiku and the PDP are seeking sheer nullification and re-election but are demanding the nullification of Buhari’s victory and declaration of Atiku as winner of the presidential election.

There are also indications that the judges at the tribunal may have come under pressures from both within Nigeria and the international community.

The proceedings at the tribunal revealed several issues in the election and claims of some parties to the suit which made many Nigerians and the international community be anticipatory of judgment in certain direction.

The judges are also conscious that they are being monitored all over the world on the Atiku suit at the tribunal. They are most likely to be conscious of the moral and psychological consequences of perversion of justice.

Thus, there are indications that there could be tensions and pressures among the stakeholders and the justice administrators.

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