Ahead of the presidential election petitions tribunal ruling, the presidency says President Bola Tinubu does not need to threaten the judiciary because the ex-Lagos governor is convinced he defeated opposition candidates, Atiku Abubakar (of the Peoples Democratic Party) and Peter Obi (of the Labour Party) in the February 25 presidential election.
The presidential election tribunal will deliver judgment on Wednesday.
Asked in an interview Monday night on Channels TV if Mr Tinubu was worried about the tribunal’s ruling, his media aide Ajuri Ngelale said, “He (Tinubu) is not worried simply because he knows he won the election. The President sees no need to threaten judicial officers.”
Mr Ngelale noted that Mr Tinubu had the best legal team and “believes the great men and women on the panel will make their decisions based only on the fact before them.”
The tribunal on Monday fixed September 6 for ruling on petitions challenging the victory of Mr Tinubu in the last presidential poll.
The registrar of the Court of Appeal, Umar Bangari, said the judgment would be transmitted live.
Mahmood Yakubu-led Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Mr Tinubu the winner of the poll on March 1, but Messrs Abubakar and Obi are contesting his victory. They claimed the election was rigged in favour of Mr Tinubu and that the incumbent is not qualified to run for president, citing alleged prior conviction, forgery and perjury, including the failure of the then-APC presidential candidate to win 25 per cent of the votes in Abuja.
Shortly after being declared the president-elect, Mr Tinubu urged the disgruntled duo and others to seek legal redress.
Mr Tinubu said, “A fair, credible election has been held and has been won. The honour of that victory and the steep responsibility it entails has fallen on me. I say this not to gloat or boast because there is no room for such behaviour. I merely state the facts as they are. I realise many good and well-meaning Nigerians voted for other candidates. They are naturally disappointed that their favoured candidate did not win.
“Other candidates have voiced their dissatisfaction, stating they will go to court to contest the election. This is inherent to the democratic process. We defend their right to seek legal recourse. While they exercise the legal rights afforded them in our democracy, I have set my course and mind on the leadership of this nation. We have important work to do and I am committed to getting that work done for the benefit of all the people, whether or not they voted for me or even voted at all.