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PEPC judgment will bring apathy in subsequent elections –Archbishop Chukwuma



From Geoffrey Anyanwu and Precious Ali, Enugu

The Archbishop, Province of Enugu and Bishop, Enugu Anglican Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, has raised the alarm that the present All Progressives Congress (APC) government led by President Bola Tinubu may have come to rule Nigeria in darkness.

In this interview with Sunday Sun, the Archbishop who berated the judiciary for the Wednesday’s judgment at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), said that announcing the presidential election in the dead of the night and delivering judgment on the same presidential election petition again in the night cannot be a coincidence, but an agenda against light.

He spoke on the judgment, the hardship in the country, Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar going for appeal, among other things. Excerpt:


The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) on Wednesday delivered judgment on petitions brought before it by Peter Obi and Labour Party (LP), Atiku Abubakar and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and others, declaring that they have no case. How will you react to the entire judgment?

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Well, Nigerians waking up this morning having listened to the judgment overnight, many people are disappointed with the judiciary for trying to manipulate most of things which were of the constitution and law. One is, therefore, worried about the credibility of some judges and lawyers in this country whereby some of the laws and constitution have been overturned to suit a certain position because of selfishness, bribery and corruption. As far as I am concerned, many of us are not happy with the judgment, and it seems this judgment is favouring a government that is coming to rule Nigeria in darkness. When this result that was petitioned against was announced it was in darkness, when the judgment on the petitions is being made, it was in darkness. This is a sign of darkened governance that we are facing right now and one is not happy about it and that is why I feel it is a time for us to intensify our payers and be very much careful about what may happen later. Things may be somehow quiet now, but Nigeria is sitting on keg of gunpowder. We don’t want the situation whereby there will be an eruption of which what is happening in Gabon and Niger will happen in Nigeria. This is because of corruption and bad governance. Nigerians are tired of corruption and bad governance and that is exactly what has repeated in the judgment. We just pray that Nigerians will come to pray to God for God’s own judgment to prevail at His own right time, because this judgment on Wednesday is not satisfactory, it is unacceptable, and it is not at all favourable to the Nigerian populace. So, let us watch it and be careful.

Do you think Nigerians are disappointed?

Yes, and we must continue to let the judges and lawyers, that is the judiciary, know that this country is very much disappointed in the whole affairs. To say there is no case, there is a case. How can you now begin to turn a situation that we have a government and there is already a constitution about Abuja, 25 per cent, now you say it doesn’t matter? How can you say now, somebody whose case was proved that there was some sort of anomalies in corruption or probably in drug and everything and you say is not, I mean it is unfortunate? President Tinubu knows that he has had his way to where he is today because he had paid his way, no problem, but let’s watch and see what God is going to do. Nigerians should continue to pray, that’s what I’m saying, they should continue to pray and wait for God’s own judgment. Because as far as I’m concerned, I ‘m not satisfied, I’m not happy with the way the judgment had gone. It is a wasteful exercise, with all the number of hours that has been spent to prove this case, evidence that are very much circumstantial, and all the time wasted in reading judgment that is very unpalatable and coming to say there is no case, it is a very disgraceful, disreputable thing to the lawyers and to the judges. And so, I think we should look at it as a state of human manipulation, but let God bring his own judgment to Nigeria. We are suffering and we are tired of suffering, things are becoming too difficult and unbearable for Nigerians, people are not happy. And the Organised Labour is not even happy, but they should be united because right now there is no amount you give to any worker that is enough to buy any food. Even the palliative that they are giving, what is it, how many people will receive it, for how many days? Palliative is temporary, after the one they are distributing, when it is finished, what will the people do, go and die or what? The politicians are comfortable while other citizens are really suffering; I pray that we need serious governance and consideration for Nigerians to be also comfortable. This country has no reason to be poor, but the money is in the hands of the few. They should make sure this thing we call Nigeria God has blessed, get to the point where Nigerians will feel comfortable to live in and be able to support the government that is very much caring and also very much ready to give security because that is another problem, may God help us in Jesus name.

What is your advice to the parties that lost the judgment?

My advice to them is that they should not go and waste their money in going to appeal, because as far as I’m concerned, the deed has been done. Where are they going, is it not court still in Nigeria, presided over by Nigerian judges? We have all been here and know the antecedent of our Supreme Court in cases like this, instances of four, three years ago are still fresh in our hearts. I think it’s indeed a waste of time and resources in going for appeal, the Nigerian judiciary with what they did on Wednesday, seems not yet ready to dispense justice based on facts. It is unfortunate that with the way things are now, it will be very difficult for Nigerians to prepare sincerely for any election again. This is going to bring apathy in next elections, Nigerians may not participate fully as it should be. And violence is being encouraged, we are breeding violence that is what they should understand by their embracing technicalities and turning their back on facts, justice and wishes of the Nigerian masses, in their judgment. It will now encourage brigandage and people will invent all means to win election knowing that what seems important is for INEC to declare you winner. Then both INEC and the judiciary will be on your side and work for you not withstanding how many lives that were eliminated and property destroyed to give the purported victory. So,  they should be watchful and be very careful the way they are handling judgments. So, when you talk of appeal now, who is sure that there is going to be anything favourable in appeal the way things are going? So, they should just take it easy, leave it to God, I say resign it to God and then wait for next time.

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