The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25, 2023 election and first petitioner in the ongoing case at the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, Peter Obi, has in his response to the legal team of President Bola Tinubu, declared that anarchy only reigns where the rule of law is trampled upon.
Obi said this through his legal team in response to the written address by Tinubu’s lawyers who had argued that an interpretation of the law requiring 25 percent of the total lawful votes cast 24 states and the Federal Capital Territory could lead to anarchy.
According to Obi’s media team, in a release on Friday, the LP candidate through his legal team has given a principled response to the threat of Anarchy from the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the 2nd and 3rd Respondents in the petition, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shetimma, “that if the Court interprets the Electoral Act section 134 against them it might lead to breakdown of law and order.”
The release read in part, “Recall that Tinubu’s legal team, led by Wole Olanipekun, had in their final address to the court threatened that, “Any other interpretation different from theirs will lead to absurdity, chaos, anarchy and alteration of the very intention of the legislature.”
However, “Peter Obi’s lawyers led by Dr Livy Uzoukwu and Onyechi Ikpeazu disagreed saying instead that what will lead to anarchy is where the rule of law is trampled upon or truncated, that in such situations anarchy reigns supreme!
According to Obi, “A sentence in the 2nd-3rd Respondents’ address alarmed the Petitioners and millions of Nigerians. The 2nd-3rd Respondents went too low and abandoned discretion when they claimed as follows: “Our submission is that the Petitioners are inviting anarchy by their ventilation of this issue of non-transmission of results electronically, by INEC.”
“Obi’s legal team noted that they found Tinubu’s outburst as “a cheap, misguided, and destructive blackmail clearly intended to target the country’s judicialism and constitutionalism. It also aims at cannibalizing our democracy.
“The legal team also noted that the careless and absurd statements of the 2nd and 3rd Respondents intend to raise the issue of insecurity if the Petitioners were to emulate the bad example of the 2nd-3rd Respondents but remarked that such will never happen because of the petitioner’s discipline and peaceful disposition and believe in the rule of law.
“Still underscoring the pointlessness and the supererogatory of the Respondent’s threat, Obi’s legal team wondered, ‘When has it become offensive for Petitioners to canvass a ground prescribed for the challenge of an election in section 134(1)(b) of the Electoral Act 2022?
“The legal eggheads attributed the needless flare-up and effusion of the Respondents to desperation taken too far which can be extremely dangerous.
“Let the 2nd-3rd Respondents know that where the rule of law is trampled upon or truncated, anarchy reigns supreme.”
The Electoral Court is expected to enter judgement in the matter soon.