The judicial arm of government should consider national interest while delivering judgment at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, a human rights movement championing the cause for equity and transparency under the aegis of Good Governance for Better Nigeria, said on Thursday.
While stressing the need for the tribunal to give all political parties a fair hearing, the organization warned that an “unfair” verdict might not augur well for the country because “it is a new dawn” for Nigeria.
The Convener of GGBN and human rights activist, Dr Abayomi Runsewe, stated these when he led over 300 members in a peaceful protest in Abuja.
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He called on the judiciary to consider the cases based on merit so that after the judgement, some groups will not feel cheated.
The protesters who held placards with inscriptions such as “Your Judgment will either make or destroy Nigeria”, Save our children’s future”, and “Let’s give fair judgment a chance”, among others chanted slogans advocating for justice and transparency in the legal process at the tribunal
There are reports that although Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress was declared the winner of the February 25 presidential election, his victory is being challenged at the tribunal by some parties and their candidates.
Runsewe, however, claimed that the GGBN does not support any political party but stands in solidarity with the people of Nigeria in defence of justice and good governance.
According to him, the organisation was not against the inauguration of the President-elect on May 29.
He said, “Today, we are concerned about the state of the nation, but we don’t want to be on one side, we are concerned about Nigeria. Our message today is to the judiciary and the law enforcement agency.
“We are urging the judiciary to listen to both sides of the coin, we want them to consider the cases on their merit, we want justice to be based on merit so that after the judgement we will not go back again into violence or other form of separation or some people feel marginalised.
“We want to raise a new consciousness in Nigeria, we want an egalitarian society, a Nigeria that is pragmatic in nature, where things are judged on merit and we are urging the judiciary to be above board.
“So, we are urging the judiciary today to be fair to all sides and give a good verdict. We are talking about the Presidential Election Tribunal, we are concerned that it is a new dawn, we don’t want things that will be as usual, we want a new Nigeria and we believe that the judiciary is going to be up to the task and give a good judgement.”