Politics

May 5, 2023

Election dispute: Allow judiciary to decide, Gowon tells Atiku, Obi, others

Gowon

Yakubu Gowon

•Urges Nigerians to accept tribunal’s verdict

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, ABUJA

As legal fireworks begin on petitions challenging the outcome of the 2023 presidential election, former military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, yesterday, implored aggrieved candidates to allow the judiciary to decide their fate.

Gowon, who was a special guest at the 15th Edition of Punuka Annual Lecture and Symposium, organised in honour of a late Justice of the Supreme Court, Chike Idigbe, urged the petitioners and Nigerians to accept the decisions of the tribunal in good faith.

He said: “As a nation, we have come a long way since our independence in 1960, and we have faced many challenges along the way- to put it moderately.

“It is no secret that the judiciary plays a vital role in nation-building and in keeping us united as a nation.

“The judiciary, in essence, is the guardian of the constitution and the rule of law. The judiciary provides a check on the powers of the executive and legislative branches and ensures that the rights and freedoms of the citizens are protected through the instrumentality of the court.

“The judiciary serves as the bedrock of our democracy, and it is only through a strong, independent and impartial judiciary that we can ensure the protection of our democracy and the advancement of our nation.

“The judiciary has overtime maintained its enviable status as the beacon of hope for our democracy, serving as the balance between every class and truly the hope of the common man.

“As we move forward as a nation, let us not forget the role that the judiciary plays in nation-building, especially the apex court in carrying out its duty of questioning the veracity of the decisions of the lower courts.

“As such we need to allow the apex court, their deliberations and come up with their decisions and as the public to be humble enough to accept their decision as final in order to maintain the sanctity of the judiciary as individuals and institutions.

“This is very important at this stage in view of the post-election litigations that are now going on.
“Let us give the judiciary the opportunity to do that work and let us accept their decision as it is.”
While eulogising the late jurist, who served as a Chief Judge in the defunct Republic of Biafra before he was recalled back to the Supreme Court in 1975, Gowon maintained that his unwavering commitment to upholding justice and the rule of law was a testament to his unflinching character and belief in the nation.

“Justice Idigbe’s life and work on and off the Bench exemplify the ideals of integrity, courage, and service.

“His unwavering dedication to justice and fairness has been a source of inspiration to many, and his legacy will continue to live on for generations to come”, he added.