Presidency slams Obi: Courts don’t give judgement based on public opinion, sentiments

Bayo Onanuga

The Presidency has lampooned the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 election, Peter Obi, over his comments on the Supreme Court judgement on the February 25 presidential poll.

The Supreme Court, on October 29, dismissed the appeal filed by Obi for lacking merit and affirmed President Bola Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential election.

Obi, while addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, November 6, described the judgement as a breach of the confidence of Nigerians in the judiciary, adding that the apex court’s verdict contradicted the evidence of rigging and other electoral malpractice that marred the 2023 presidential election.

Reacting, the Presidency, in a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, said it expected Obi to know that the Supreme Court or any other court does not give judgement based on public opinion and sentiments.

Onanuga stated that the LP presidential standard-bearer gave his supporters a forlorn hope that he won the election, saying the former governor of Anambra State failed to provide evidence to back up his claims at the tribunal and the Supreme Court.

He said: “Mr. Obi claimed the Supreme Court justices didn’t consider public opinion in delivering what has been applauded as a most profound judgement in an election appeal where the Labour Party candidate presented the most watery and unreasonable petition before any court in the history of electoral cases in Nigeria.

“He made false allegations of rigging and other electoral malpractices yet could not produce any evidence to back up his claims at both the court of first instance and at the apex court.

“In a failed effort to mobilise and retain the support of his supporters, Obi gave them a forlorn hope that he won the election and would prove it before the courts.

“Throughout the trial, his lawyers didn’t present any alternative results different from the results INEC uploaded on the IReV portal and the ones signed by all party agents from the 176,000 polling units.

“We wonder how the Labour Party candidate expected he courts to do justice on the basis of rumours, lies and false narratives by sponsored partisans and fanatical members of his Obidient Movement.

“We expected the Labour Party candidate to know that the Supreme Court or any other court does not give judgment based on public opinion and mob sentiments. Judicial pronouncements are based on evidence, precedents and the rule of law.”

Onanuga noted that Obi, having admitted that the Supreme Court’s judgement brought an end to litigation and any challenge to Tinubu’s election, should have congratulated the president for his victory and pledge his support, in the spirit of statesmanship.

He added: “But instead, he brought up extraneous matters that he thought the apex court should have considered to declare him the winner.

“In our view, the drowning Obi, just like Atiku, was merely attempting to hold on to a straw in raking up new allegations, which exist only in his imagination and that of his hordes of supporters.

“Our admonition to Mr. Peter Obi is to find another worthwhile vocation to engage his time henceforth, having been rejected by majority of Nigerians who didn’t consider him qualified to lead our country.

“If Mr. Peter Obi truly believes in Nigeria, the time to prove it is now when all men and women of goodwill are rallying support for President Tinubu in his determination to lead a new era of prosperity, inclusive governance and economic growth in Nigeria.

“We welcome Obi and his party to play the role of the opposition and start preparing for another shot at the presidency in 2027.

“We hope by then he would campaign on issues and not whip up religious and ethnic sentiments as he did in the last campaign.”

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