The Labour Party (LP) has told President Bola Tinubu that his removal from office by the court will not cause anarchy in the country.
Tinubu had asked the presidential election tribunal to dismiss the petition filed by LP seeking to nullify his victory on the grounds that he did not secure 25 percent of the lawful vote cast in the federal capital territory (FCT).
Tinubu, through Wole Olanipekun, his counsel, in a final written address to the tribunal against the petition, said the FCT is the 37th state for electoral purposes and any other interpretation would “lead to absurdity, chaos, anarchy and alteration of the very intention of the legislature”.
Olanipekun said the petition is novel and not familiar with the country’s electoral laws.
Reacting, the LP in a statement on Monday by Obiora Ifoh, national publicity secretary of the party, said Tinubu’s comment was unnecessary since the matter is before the court.
The LP said the All Progressives Congress (APC) must be cautious in its approach to the matter which is still in court, noting that no amount of pressure on the judges in the tribunal can change the processes and requirements that the law has put in place.
“We are worried that the statement which formed part of his submissions and was contained in his final written address against the Labour Party’s petition pending at the PREPEC, and meant to be in the exclusive custody of the court was leaked to the media,” the statement reads.
“We still do not know the reason behind this act of desperation, even when the matter is still pending in court. We will however be careful not to term the action as sub-judice.
“Having said that, the Labour Party thinks that the statement was unnecessary since the matter is already before the court, and going ahead to pontificate on it could be construed as interference in the duties and responsibilities of the judiciary.
“The truth of the matter is that there are no sentiments when it comes to matters of law. The law is the law and once the law has stipulated the manner and how a matter must be carried out, it must follow that pattern.
“If the law has stated the requirement that a presidential candidate must meet before he can be declared, there is no shortcut to it.
“Therefore, if the constitution which is the ground norm of the law in Nigeria has stated clearly that you must score at least 25 percent in FCT before the president can be declared, anything short of that can not remedy it.
“We insist that no amount of threat from the APC on the judges in the tribunal can change the processes and requirements that the law has put in place. It must be followed and that is the position of the Labour Party.
“Let me assure the APC and their leaders that if there were no absurdity, chaos, and anarchy when they forced their way into power, Nigeria will still witness peace when they are eventually evicted from power.”