In a recent development, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has voiced apprehension regarding the decision rendered by the 2023 Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT), which upheld the triumph of President Bola Tinubu.
The PEPT, in a ruling last week, dismissed the petitions filed by Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, and his counterpart from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, citing a lack of merit. Obi and Atiku, who vehemently contested the tribunal’s decision, have decided to escalate the matter to the Supreme Court.
Addressing the ongoing controversy surrounding the tribunal’s verdict, Archbishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, President of the CBCN, asserted that the tribunal’s judgment failed to meet the legitimate expectations, moral principles, and legal standards of the Nigerian people. The Archbishop delivered these remarks on Sunday during his address at the opening ceremony of the 2023 Second Plenary Assembly of the Conference, held in Abuja.
He further emphasized that the decision by Obi and Atiku to seek recourse at the Supreme Court has left the destiny of Nigerians hanging in the balance. Archbishop Ugorji offered his prayers, expressing hope that the Supreme Court Justices would render a fair and just judgment in their deliberation on these petitions.
“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,” he added.