There is heavy security deployment at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal and other spots in Abuja ahead of the delivery of the judgment on the election petitions filed by Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Atiku Abubakar of the PDP challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday.
The judgment will be delivered by the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Haruna Tsammani, assisted by other members of the panel-Justices Stephen Adah, Monsurat Bolaji-Yusuf, Moses Ugo, and Abba Mohammed.
In preparation for the judgment, scores of armed riot policemen, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and other security operatives in plainclothes were deployed at strategic locations in the Federal Capital Territory in a bid to prevent a breach of law and order that might arise after the judgment.
At about 6.50 pm on Tuesday, truckloads of policemen were brought to the Court of Appeal, and the police vehicles were used to barricade the court entrance while several policemen were also patrolling the city in vehicles.
A police team was seen taking instructions from their superiors shortly after they were brought to the court premises.
A court worker noted that in the memo sent to the staff informing them not to come to work on Wednesday, it was stated that there would be a heavy presence of security operatives around the court premises.
Several agents were seen at strategic locations in the Three Arms Zone, Julius Berger, Area One, Wuse, and other parts of the city.
Police patrol vehicles were also seen moving around along the Federal Secretariat, Muhammadu Buhari Way, and Ladoke Akintola Boulevard.
This is even as all major roads leading to the Court of Appeal would be also barricaded by the police before the court proceedings commence, it was gathered.
The acting Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, had ordered all police commands and formations across the country to secure all major hotspots under their jurisdictions to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order.
It was further learnt that the police made both covert deployments of operatives and equipment across the nation, especially in Abuja and Lagos State.
The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumiyiwa Adejobi in a statement on Tuesday cautioned “mischief makers and political gladiators to be cautious in their actions and statements.”
The NPF further noted that it would not condone activities capable of inciting violence or causing a descent into anarchy, adding that all citizens must embrace peace and maintain calm, regardless of their political affiliations, to ensure a peaceful and secure environment.
Adejobi said, “In its bid to fortify security architecture and forestall any breakdown of law and order across the country as a result of the forthcoming Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Judgment scheduled to be passed on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, the Nigeria Police Force has strengthened its deployment across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
‘’The Police wish to reiterate the commitment to ensuring the safety of lives and property before, during, and after the judgment. The NPF has diligently emplaced all necessary deployments and security measures during this critical period as officers and men are fully prepared to maintain order and enforce laws while respecting the rights and freedoms of all citizens.
“Furthermore, the NPF strongly cautions all individuals, including mischief makers and political gladiators, to be cautious in their actions and statements as the Force will not condone activities capable of inciting violence or causing a descent into anarchy.
‘’It is imperative for all citizens to embrace peace and maintain calm, regardless of their political affiliations, to ensure a peaceful and secure environment. The Nigeria Police Force is dedicated to its duty of protecting and serving the Nigerian people and is committed to carrying out these roles with professionalism, impartiality, and utmost dedication. Together, we can ensure a peaceful and secure environment for all during this period.”