Tribunal judgement: Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), says their legal team has already received firm instruction to file an appeal against the decision of the Presidential Election Petition Court.
Obi disclosed this on Thursday at a press conference in Onitsha, Anambra state, while reacting to the five-man panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani which upheld the victory of President Bola Tinubu.
He said although he and the LP respected the views and rulings of the court, they disagreed with the court’s reasoning and conclusions in the judgment it delivered.
The former Anambra governor further implore Nigerians to remain focused, steadfast, and abide by the rule of law, with the understanding that the matter had not reached its logical conclusion.
Obi said: “Yesterday, 6 September 2023, the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) finally delivered its long-awaited judgments on the Petitions challenging the outcome of the presidential election held on 25 February 2023.
“This judgment was delivered within the statutory time frame under the extant statutes. We acknowledge the Court’s contributions to due process and the seeming to strengthen our democracy.
“As petitioners in this case, we respect the views and rulings of the Court, but we disagree with the Court’s reasoning and conclusions in the judgment it delivered.
“It is my intention as a presidential candidate and the intention of the Labour Party to challenge this judgment by way of appeal immediately, as allowed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The PEPC has rendered its judgment, but that esteemed body is not the final arbiter. The responsibility now falls on the Supreme Court. I do know that judgment is not coterminous with justice.
“I implore Nigerians to remain focused, steadfast, and peaceful; abide by the rule of law, and understand that this matter has not reached its logical conclusion.
“Our legal team has already received our firm instruction to file an appeal against the decision. I shall not relent in the quest for justice, not necessarily for myself but indeed for our teeming supporters all over the country whose mandate to us at the polls was regrettably truncated by INEC.
“The strength and value of our democracy reside in solid national institutions and our confidence in them. Electoral litigations will be almost unnecessary and nonexistent if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) discharges its statutory functions creditably, transparently, and with discernible fairness.
“When that body fails, as it did recently, thus subverting the will of Nigerian voters, the recourse to the judiciary becomes imperative, as is now the case.
“I thank every Nigerian who has supported our cause and campaign for a New Nigeria characterized by fairness, equity, justice, the rule of law, peace, prosperity, inclusiveness, sustainable growth, and development.
“A New Nigeria is possible and achievable. I especially thank our legal team, the Labour Party and Obidient Family, and all those who showed up daily during the court trials. God bless you all, and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The LP had immediately after the tribunal ruling rejected the verdict in a statement made by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh on Wednesday.
Ifoh said: “The Labour Party watched with dismay and trepidation the dismissal of petitions by the five-man panel of the Presidential Election Petition Court led by Justice Haruna Tsammani today and we reject the outcome of the judgment in its entirety because justice was not served and it did not reflect the law and the desire of the people”.