‘No Point Blackmailing Tribunal, Parties At Loss Free To Approach Supreme Court’ — Falana

Femi Falana

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, says petitioners need not blackmail the judiciary over the verdict of the Presidential Election Tribunal, since there is still opportunity for an appeal at the Supreme Court.

Recall on Monday, the tribunal fixed September 6 to deliver judgment on the petitions challenging the victory of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the February 25 election.

Falana, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, on Monday, asserted 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 Advocate of Nigeria queried.

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He however 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.

According to him, 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 judgment.

“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 posited.

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 Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 polls.