Heavy security was deployed in Abuja on Tuesday ahead of the delivery of the judgment on the election petitions challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu.
Following the verdict, the deployment was in response to the expectation of a possible breakdown of law and order.
Scores of armed riot police officers, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and other security operatives in plainclothes were deployed strategically in the Federal Capital Territory.
The judgment will be delivered by the Chairman of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, Justice Haruna Tsammani, assisted by other members of the panel-Justices Stephen Adah, Monsurat Bolaji-Yusuf, Moses Ugo, and Abba Mohammed.
The proceedings will be held at the Court of Appeal, Three Arms zone, Abuja.
The Chief Registrar, Court of Appeal headquarters, Umar Bangari, had disclosed in a statement on Monday that the tribunal verdict will be delivered on Wednesday and aired live on television stations.
This, he noted, was to promote transparency and openness and for Nigerians to watch the proceeding.
The petitioners in the case are the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar; the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi; and the Action Alliance (AA).
They are challenging the election of Tinubu, who was declared the winner of the presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Atiku and Obi have alleged widespread irregularities and malpractices in the election, which they said affected the poll’s outcome.
They seek the nullification of Tinubu’s victory and the declaration of Atiku as the election winner.
The petitioners have presented their witnesses and closed their case. Tinubu has also presented his witnesses and closed his case.
The tribunal is expected to deliver its judgment on Wednesday. The security deployment in Abuja is part of the efforts by the authorities to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order following the verdict.
The police have warned that anyone who tries to cause trouble will be dealt with decisively.
The heavy security presence has also caused some inconvenience to residents and motorists. Some roads have been blocked, and traffic has been diverted.
Despite the security deployment, there is a sense of anxiety and uncertainty. People are waiting to see the verdict and how the different political camps will receive it.
The verdict is expected to have a significant impact on the political landscape in Nigeria. It could also have implications for the stability of the country.
The security agencies are, therefore, under pressure to ensure that the verdict is delivered peacefully and orderly.
In addition to the security deployment, the authorities have taken other measures to ensure no violence. These include the deployment of additional police officers to flashpoints in the city, the closure of some schools and markets, and the restriction of movement.
The authorities hope these measures will be enough to prevent violence, but they are also prepared for the worst.
The verdict on the election petitions is crucial in Nigeria’s democracy. It tests the country’s ability to resolve electoral disputes peacefully and uphold the rule of law.
How the verdict is received and the different political camps react will be significant indicators of the country’s future stability.