Paul Ibe, a media aide to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has voiced criticism against court judgments on election petitions that resulted in the removal of members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), characterizing them as mere “judgments” and not embodiments of justice.
In a statement released on Monday, Ibe expressed concern over what he perceives as the compromised state of democracy in Nigeria, attributing it to the alleged partiality of the judiciary in deciding electoral cases. He specifically faulted the judgments of the election tribunal and the appeal court that led to the removal of PDP senators, House of Representatives members in Plateau, and the governor of the state.
According to Ibe, there is a discernible trend where opposition engagement is progressively constrained by the ruling party in Nigeria. He asserted that the election petition tribunal and appeal courts appear to be aligning with and “doing the bidding” of the ruling party.
The statement further highlighted the unsettling state of democracy in Nigeria, particularly noting controversial declarations in states controlled by opposition political parties, including Nassarawa, Kano, Zamfara, and Plateau. Ibe suggested that outcomes in these cases raise questions about the integrity of the electoral and judicial systems.
Referring to remarks by Justice Dattijo Muhammad and Olumide Akpata, the immediate past President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ibe echoed concerns about recent court judgments, describing them as questionable and indicative of compromise. He cited Femi Falana (SAN), who compared the courage and integrity of the judiciary under military dictatorship to the present situation.
The statement concluded with a call for renewed faith in the electoral and judicial systems, urging a commitment to upholding justice and integrity in democratic processes.