Tribunal: Security operatives block roads, frisk lawyers, others


Armed security operatives have cordoned off roads to the venue of the presidential election petition court in Abuja.

Uba Group

There are three checkpoints between the Ministry of Finance Headquarters and the court’s entrance.

At the entrance gate, the names of lawyers, party representatives, staff, and journalists accredited for the event were confirmed before being allowed in.

Subsequently, searches were conducted on those cleared at the gate.

At the court premises, security operatives were seen scanning the strategic locations for explosive devices and other dangerous weapons.

At the moment, no one is allowed to assess the courtroom.

Today’s tribunal is expected to deliver judgment on the election petitions challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu by the presidential candidates for the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, and Labour Party’s Peter Obi.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Chapter of the Labour Party has urged the judges sitting at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja to deliver judgment with utmost fairness.

It said that it was an enormous responsibility for the judges and they should deliver justice in the interest of all Nigerians who have entrusted them with their destinies to decide on the true outcome of the February 25, 2023, presidential election, adding that they (judges) should not bow to pressure or intimidation from any external bodies.

The spokesperson for the party, Olubunmi Odusanya, stated in a statement issued on Tuesday evening that the party also celebrated the victories of their candidates for the National Assembly, Okey-Joe Onuakalusi and Wande George, whose elections into the Oshodi-Isolo II and Amuwo-Odofin Federal Constituencies respectively, were upheld by a National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Ikeja, Lagos.

Odusanya commended the judges, saying it was a symbol that “Nigeria can still be salvaged with the right people in the right institutions of the state.’’

The statement partly read, “In view of the above, we at the Labour Party Lagos State urge the Judges at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, PEPT in Abuja to toe the line of their colleagues in Lagos as they set to deliver judgement on Wednesday, September 6, 2023.

“This is an enormous responsibility in their hands and we urge them to deliver justice in the interest of Nigeria, not self. We want the Tribunal Judges to realise that the destinies of over two hundred million are in their hands. This is the time to put Nigeria in her rightful place in the committee of nations.

“A position denied the country by the acts of misgovernance and maladministration inflicted on us by brigandage and charlatans posing as leaders in the time past. We urge the Judges not to succumb to any form of pressure or intimidation from any quarter.

“Nigeria is bigger than all of us and our allegiance should be to the nation, not self. The time to take back Nigeria is now. In like manner, we implore all Labour Party members and supporters and indeed all ObiDients to remain optimistic that our Principal, Peter Obi will be given his clear mandate as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria tomorrow September 6 2023. This will be a definitive move to take back our Country and steer it back on the right track of greatness. It is the only leadership that will birth a New Nigeria.

“Furthermore, Labour Party Lagos State received with rude shock and sadness the judgements delivered by the National and State Assembly Petition petition Tribunal wherein in our sitting House of Representatives Member for Ojo Federal Constituency was sacked and the plea of our Lagos Central Senatorial candidates were thrown out based on matters we feel are pre-election issues. We thank God that the Tribunal is not the final court of arbitration in these matters. The Labour Party will appeal the said judgements.

“We, at Labour Party are also in solidarity with our indefatigable and ebullient Governorship candidate of Lagos state, Architect Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, whose victory at the Tribunal the Party expects when judgement is delivered in the petition. We reiterate our hope, trust and confidence in the Nigerian Judiciary for a truly strong democracy that will usher in the new Nigeria we all hope for and desire. May God help us to do the right.”