“In the wake of the recent PEPC judgment, the Niger Delta Congress (NDC) has highlighted the imperative for the judiciary to prioritize the future of Nigeria, as reactions continue to pour in.”
In a statement by its national spokesperson, Mudiaga Ogboru, while reacting to the judgment, the group stressed that the tribunal failed to provide clear and convincing explanations for its conclusions, which have led to a loss of confidence among Nigerians.
According to the statement, “the recent verdict by the PEPC has elicited widespread concern, apprehension, and disappointment among citizens who value the principles of justice, fairness, and transparency in democratic processes.
As a matter of principle, it is our belief in the Niger Delta Congress that a fair and impartial judiciary is the cornerstone of a thriving democracy, and the concerns surrounding this judgment have for the umpteenth time raised important questions about the health, trajectory, and trustworthiness of Nigeria’s democratic institutions.
The consolidation of this epiphany amongst the citizens against the judiciary is dangerous and should not be taken lightly.
“As a sociopolitical organization cognizant of the dividends of equity and transparency, we are careful not to define justice according to our own sentiments or wishes, but none the less, we would not shy away from pointing out obvious judicial issues.
Here are some of our concerns:
“Discrepancies in Evidence Assessment: The Tribunal did not adequately address inconsistencies in evidence or thoroughly investigate allegations of irregularities.
“Disregard for Electoral Integrity: The judgment downplays the importance of ensuring the integrity of the electoral process. We are dismayed that the judiciary failed to address electoral misconduct effectively, such as voter intimidation, ethnic profiling, and the use of violence by state and non-state actors, which in some significant cases culminated in grievous physical harm against the electorate.
“Lack of Remedies: We are equally concerned that the judgment fails to provide adequate remedies for any proven irregularities; this further raises the question of the tribunal’s pursuit of justice and what the future holds.
“Overall, the tribunal failed to provide clear and convincing explanations for its conclusions, which have led to a loss of confidence, dismay, and legitimate worry by millions of Nigerians as regards the sacredness of their fundamental rights to those institutions that are charged with the responsibility of ensuring these rights are upheld at all times against the powerful and affluent seeking to erode or undermine them.
“What this portends for the future of Nigeria should give all and sundry cause for concern.”