Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, says the judiciary is facing unprecedented blackmail and intimidation over the presidential election petitions, saying that the blackmail is not necessary since there is still an opportunity for an appeal at the Supreme Court.
Falana, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, on Monday, said there is no election petition that has attracted such attention in the country since colonial rule.
“We have been having election petitions since the colonial era, but none has attracted such level of blackmail and intimidation of the judiciary.
“I am worried that people give the impression that everything ends with the judgement of the Court of Appeal, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal. Any party that loses on Wednesday still has the opportunity to appeal to the Supreme Court. So, what is the basis for the cheap blackmail that is going on?” the senior lawyer queried.
The senior advocate blamed the blackmail and intimidation on new voters whom he said have the belief that their candidate must be declared as the winner, saying that it is not what election tribunals are all about.
He said it is for the justices to look at the evidence adduced by the parties, apply the law and give a decision.
“As they say, even if the heavens will fall and the heavens won’t fall anyway, the judges must not be intimidated, they must give their decision regardless of blackmail or intimidations convinced that they can justify their judgement.
“That is what is required of them, to examine the evidence, apply the law and deliver a decision. One way or the other, some will lose, some will win; but those who lose in the case and are aggrieved will have another opportunity to approach the Supreme Court and demonstrate how the Court of Appeal has erred,” Falana maintained.
Channels Television reported that the Court of Appeal on Monday confirmed that it will deliver judgement on the presidential election petitions on Wednesday, adding that the proceedings will be open to live broadcast by interested television stations.
The Labour Party (LP), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), as well as their presidential candidates, had petitioned the tribunal seeking to nullify the election of President Bola Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential election.