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Wednesday’s Election Judgment May Spark Intense Public Scrutiny of Judiciary, Says Falana

Femi Falana (SAN), a human rights attorney, has raised worry about the attention Nigerians are giving the anticipated ruling of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

No election petition has, according to the attorney, garnered as much blackmail and intimidation of the judges as the 2023 tribunal has.

Falana nevertheless emphasised that the tribunal’s decision is not final and that all parties involved must keep in mind that the Supreme Court has the power to reject any decision made by the presidential tribunal.

The attorney reportedly made the submission on Monday when appearing in an interview on Politics Today on Channels Television.

Falana said: “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 lawyer noted that regardless of the outcome of Wednesday’s tribunal ruling, the heavens won’t fall and the judges must not be intimidated.

“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 submitted.

It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal on Monday confirmed that it will deliver judgement on the presidential election petitions on Wednesday, 6th September, 2023.

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