The Presidency on Friday said it found it ”ridiculous, and even comical”, the reaction of former Vice President and 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Atiku Abubakar, to the Supreme Court ruling affirming the election of Gboyega Oyetola as governor of Osun State.
Mr Abubakar, who challenged President Buhari at this year’s poll is also in court to challenge the legitimacy of Mr Buhari’s mandate for a second term in office.
This came after the Court of Appeal earlier nullified the March 22 judgement of the Osun State election petition tribunal which declared Mr Adeleke the winner of the election.
The apex court said the judge who had read the majority judgement at the tribunal, Peter Obiora, was evidently absent on February 6, given the documents before the court.
It said the failure of Mr Obiora to be present on that day meant that the tribunal lacked the authorities to have given any judgment on the matter.
Two of the seven members of the Supreme Court panel, however, disagreed with the ruling.
Presidency ‘knocks’ Atiku
The presidency on Friday criticised Mr Abubakar over his reaction to the ruling.
”Many things fly in the face of logic, reason, and legality in this portion of the statement. Alhaji Abubakar urged the judiciary to reflect the pulse of the nation in their judgments. Learned people know that the judiciary comes to conclusions drawing from matters of law placed before it, and not sentiments, or so-called “pulse of the nation.”
”A pertinent question is: how does the judiciary gauge the pulse of the nation? Is it even positioned to do such? Is the judiciary established for that purpose, or to dispense justice, even if the Heavens fall?
”Again, there is insinuation of inducement in the statement, when the PDP candidate said the judiciary should ensure justice is done, “irrespective of the pressure to do otherwise, by the powers that be,” the statement noted.
It also said the judiciary would not be browbeaten in the discharge of its duties.
”We see this as an attempt to browbeat the judiciary, thus causing it to entertain sentiment in the ongoing petition on the presidential election before the tribunal. If anybody has the tendency or proclivity to put pressure on the judiciary, Nigerians know where the finger points, and it is definitely not at President Muhammadu Buhari. This was a man who had thrice taken his electoral challenges to the judiciary, up to the Supreme Court. And not once was he accused of trying to influence the process or put pressure on the courts.
”When the All Progressives Congress (APC) lost Zamfara and Rivers States, arising from judicial proclamations, then, there was no “pressure to do otherwise, by the powers that be.” But now that the victory of the party in Osun was upheld, there is insinuation of pressure from those who have never learnt to play straight.
”President Buhari has always been committed to fair play, which was clearly evident in the last general elections. He remains committed to even-handedness and justice always,” the presidency said.