Chief Goddy Uwazurike, senior lawyer and president emeritus of Aka Ikenga, an Igbo think tank, has described the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on the case filed by Peter Obi and the Labour Party as “technically naked injustice.”
The tribunal had earlier on Wednesday, dismissed petitions by Labour Party and Obi, its presidential candidate in the 2023 poll, stating that they did not prove their cases against the election of President Bola Tinubu.
However, reacting to the decision, Uwazurike noted that the tribunal judges ignored the substance of the case and relied on technicalities to dismiss the petitioners’ case.
He said, “The judgment today showed that Justice is lying prostrate while technicality stood triumphant over it. Indeed, the PEPT relied technicality in analysing the trial including the evidence of the witnesses. To be blunt, the Tribunal failed to realize that it (judiciary) was on trial in the court of the people. The people expected that the verification of the scores will be a primary duty of the Tribunal.”
Speaking further, Uwazurike wondered, “People expected that the Tribunal will order the “Independent” INEC will be truly independent. INEC bluntly refused to produce the documents used in the election and the Tribunal did nothing. This amounted to unfair trial because the defense decided the evidence that will be available, not withstanding the Notice to Produce served on it and the reassurance of chair that it will comply.”
According to him, “In the end, the Tribunal ruled that the petitioner failed to prove his case.
“This Tribunal failed to respond to the question, WHO WON?
“Those who benefit from injustice see nothing wrong in the system.
“World over, the judiciary does not rely on technicality. It relies on substansial justice, on what the people understand.
“Those who were beaten up during the election, those who were denied the right to vote, those who witnessed the mutilation of results are still wondering.. what happened??
“Election judgment based on technicality is naked injustice.”