PEPT verdict: Fate of Nigeria hangs in the balance — Catholic Bishops

PEPT verdict: Fate of Nigeria hangs in the balance — Catholic Bishops


Catholic Bishops of Nigeria

…Say future of democracy stands on edge of precipice
…Lament worsening insecurity, ailing economy

By Luminous Jannamike, ABUJA

Amid the lingering controversy over the judgement of the Presidential Elections Petitions Tribunal, PEPT, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, has said Nigeria currently stands on the precipice of uncertainty as the case moves to the Supreme Court.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the 2023 Second Plenary Assembly of the CBCN in Abuja yesterday, the President of the Conference, Archbishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, voiced concerns over the conduct of the elections, which he said fell short of people’s legitimate expectations and moral and legal standards.

He highlighted the dismissive approach of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, PEPT, towards the petitions filed by aggrieved contestants.

The Catholic Bishops stated: “After hearing their petitions, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, PEPT, delivered its ruling in a marathon judgement on September 6, 2023.

“The five justices of the Election Petition Tribunal unanimously dismissed the petitions. According to them, they lacked merit.

“Despite the billions of naira of tax-payers money appropriated for the provision of the BVAS technology as a game-changer in our general elections, the judges in their ruling tried, among other things, to suggest that it was wrong to expect INEC to keep its promise or obey the electoral regulation of transmitting election results electronically in real time from polling units.

“While respecting the views of the judges, two of the petitioners rejected their verdict as lacking in justice and so have decided to head to the Supreme Court to seek justice.

“As this case moves to the next level, the fate of the country continues to hang in the balance and the future of democracy in our land stands on the edge of a precipice.

“We pray and hope that the Supreme Court judges will neither bend the law nor seek to satisfy the whims and caprices of any party. We also pray and hope for a day in our nation when all election results will be finally decided at the polling units and not at the court.’’

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