BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – Undaunted by its recent setback at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is upbeat that the Supreme Court will serve justice by upturning the judgment against the party and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
According to the nation’s main opposition party, “The victory will be short-lived” because the Supreme Court would quash the Tribunal’s ruling, and justice will be served to the Nigerian people.
Trusting the apex Court’s integrity to right all wrongs done to them by the Tribunal, PDP said it is still too early for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rejoice over the ruling, which it believed will soon be reversed.
The party was reacting to a call by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed that the PDP and Atiku Abubakar should be prosecuted for presenting “fraudulent evidence”, before the tribunal.
The Minister was further quoted as saying on Thursday in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he heads Nigeria’s delegation to the 23rd General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) that the PDP and its candidate should apologise to Nigerians instead of appealing the verdict.
But a statement by PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbodiyan, urged Lai Mohammed to be cautious in celebrating the judgment, saying that “his gloating will be short-lived”.
Describing the PEPT’s ruling as a direct miscarriage of justice that cannot stand at the Supreme Court, Ologbodiyan noted that the weight of evidence against President Buhari and the APC will have the apex Court upturn the Tribunal ruling on their petition
Ologbodiyan said; “Those celebrating this attempt to corrupt our justice system as well as the brazen approval of a clear case of perjury are directly telling Nigerians something about their conscience and character.”
He said the PDP “is not surprised that Lai Mohammed, speaking for the Buhari administration, came short of calling for the arrest and prosecution of opposition members for coming before the Appeal Court, a situation which exposed their belief that they own the court and can determine the position of the judiciary on any matter.
“Notwithstanding, the PDP holds that Nigerians have seen the ‘several errors’ in the judgment delivered by the Appeal Court and have turned the verdict to a butt of jokes in public space.”
The PDP spokesman also took a swipe at the Minister saying; “We invite Lai Mohammed to tell Nigerians if his Law degree was awarded to him on the basis of a sworn affidavit and pictures of his classmates; or was his Call to Bar at the Nigerian Law School also based on presentation of pictures and affidavit?”
He further accused the APC-led administration of manipulating the process, saying: “This is more the reason the PDP stands with Nigerians in heading to the Supreme Court to uphold justice in the matter and salvage our nation from this drift towards impunity, anarchy and lawlessness”.
The PDP image maker’s statement also challenged the Minister to explain his role alleged N2.5 billion “fraud” at the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in line with the transparency and accountability mantra of the Buhari administration instead of dramatising daily in the public space.