By Omeiza Ajayi
Allies of former Vice President and Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general elections, Alh. Atiku Abubakar have raised concerns over the delay by the Judiciary in constituting the 7-member Presidential Election Appeal Panel.
The former Vice President’s men under the aegis of Democracy Vanguard of Nigeria in Diaspora DVND made their position known in a statement jointly signed by Leonard Ishiguzo, Yakubu Mohammad and Timothy Sule; the Director Outreach, North America Coordinator and President of DVND respectively.
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The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) had on September 11 dismissed the petitions filed by Atiku and the PDP and upheld the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari during the poll, but the PDP and its candidate had headed to the Supreme Court where they filed a 66-point submission to challenge the judgment of the tribunal.
However, the pro-Atiku group noted that the statute of limitation for Appeal at the Supreme Court is 60 days, adding that since the tribunal gave its judgement on September 11, “the appeal is yet to be heard and the expiration of the statute of limitation is on the 11th of November, 2019”.
The DVND accused the All Progressives Congress APC-led administration of forcing the judiciary to ” technically delay the constitution of the 7-man Justices to preside over the case”.
The group also aligned with the PDP caucus in the House of Representatives in restating their position that “there are also alternative plans to jettison the historical precedents of the courts by choosing the judges according to positioning in the court to a style of staccato nomination by determining judges who will be favourable to the whims and caprices of the APC.
“A credible, clear, crystal, conforming situation that allows the Supreme Court to function without any abysmal interference from the Executive will foster law and order and will bring back the trust and confidence Nigerians have in the judiciary”, they added.
The group also commended Alh. Atiku Abubakar for shunning violence after the polls, saying his resolve to seek redress through the judiciary shows that he is a true democrat who loves his country more than his personal ambition.
“We want to applaud Mr Atiku Abubakar who deserves encompassing encomium for successfully stopping his electors and voters from taking the laws into their hands, which demonstrates his strong democratic principles and his belief in the judiciary. This is a shred of constant, credible and compelling evidence that Mr Atiku Abubakar is one of the most endearing and qualified candidates in the election”, the group added.