OPINION: The Dangers Of A PEPC Misjudgment

Sir Isaac Newton is a man with a huge reputation in the history of the
study of science especially in the areas of Physics and Mathematics. He
introduced ground breaking and many fundamental principles, laws and
concepts that form the bases of many modern day studies in the physics
and mathematics and their application into engineering and technology.

One such is the classic famous three Laws of Motion regarding an object
and forces that impact it. The derivative from the third law is what is of
interest in this write-up. For the sake of simplicity, the law can be said to imply
that “action and reaction are equal and opposite”. This can also be
expressed that the interaction of two objects leads to them impacting the same
level of forces on each other but in opposite directions. It is like the concept
of the law of cause and effect. It is often said that while choice may be
free the consequence is very usually not.
The above scenario is one of the realities that the Nigerian Judicial System is
facing at this time of the country’s political journey. Nigerians like never, are
learning very quickly that political choices have consequences. In the
current reality of the country, I dare say that in more ways than has ever
been significant before now, the decision of the Court will have far more
serious consequences for the Judiciary itself, the Nigerian state, the

Nigerian Constitution, the Nigeria Political terrain or democracy and of
course the Nigerian people. Nigeria Judicial System beacon is currently
carried by the Nigerian Court of Appeal which is the court approved by the
law to act as the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to handle issues of
disputes arising from Presidential elections.

The decision or judgment that
will emanate from the Appeal Court of Nigeria i.e. Presidential Election
Petition Tribunal, PEPT on the current presidential election petition like
never before is bound to have a reverberation effect, the size of which can
either become a catalyst to take Nigeria and Nigerians forward and lead us
into rapid progression in growth and development or send us into an abyss
of almost no return.
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has five Justices who will be
presiding over the Presidential Petition cases before them need to know
that judgment without justice will simply amount to a miscarriage of justice
or better stated a misjudgment.

Misjudgment in the tribunal has a lot of dangers embedded in it. While
some of the dangers may be long-term term which may be slow and may not be
immediately visible, a lot of them may be instantaneous in their negative
impact on Nigeria and Nigerians. The main purpose of this write-up is to
bring into the notice of the Judiciary majorly and to a small extent to the
attention of some of the Nigeria political class who are unrepentantly and
extremely corrupt in their conduct as well as very recalcitrant in their anti-
people mode of pursuit of political ambition and relevance. This is to open
the eyes of the Judiciary, especially the five justices presiding over the petition,
the need for them not to capitulate to any form of pressure, inducement,
intimidation or blackmail that the corrupt political class may bring to bear
on them in order to make them change the right course of justice and
judgment. Some of these dangers are discussed in the following

Potential Breakup of Nigeria

One of the biggest challenges that may arise from misjudgment in the case before PEPT is the danger of the continued existence of Nigeria as a single entity.
Nigeria before now has always experienced challenges in terms of attaining
unity of nationhood as a result of many fault lines of divisions which
include but not limited to tribe, religion, education, politics, economy,
political appointment, civic service recruitment, military and security forces
recruitment, infrastructural development, revenue allocation, resource
control etc.… Aside from participation in football or sporting activities, virtually
all national, public, or government actions and activities are viewed from
the microscope of these differentiating divisive factors. Emergence of
Nigerian Presidents have always been a sensitive subject as a result of some
factors listed above.

There is an unwritten but generally widely acceptable ethical rule about Nigeria’s Presidency under the democratic mode of government that has to do with the reality of the principle of rotation between the southern and northern parts of the country. This is also found in the expression in religious balancing of the Presidential and the Vice Presidential candidacy
based on the Christian and Muslim faith.

Nigeria has been enmeshed in some sort of sectional agitation for separation or division of the country along ethnic and many other lines based primarily on a huge unfair sense of justice in different forms e.g. view of some sections of the people of the country
who are yet to produce a president since the current democratic status
started in 1999.

INEC, based on a new electoral law that allows the use of technology, gave many citizens of Nigeria including those with some level of agitation about several issues some level of calmness and hope that votes will indeed count for the election and the process will be fair enough. The Nigerian people irrespective of tribe or religion would make a choice
acceptable to them probably for the first time. While the process may have been tampered with due to deliberate human interference, many are merely waiting and hoping the courts can and will correct the anomaly. Any perceived misjudgment or sense of injustice may lead to even bigger agitation for separation or breaking up of the entity called Nigeria.

Destruction of Nigeria’s Judicial System

The destruction of the sanctity of the Court and by extension entire Nigeria Judicial System may be fully activated should there be a misjudgment by the five justices of the PEPT handling the Presidential Election Petition case. A lot of Nigerians have lost hope in the executive and legislative arm of the government of Nigeria. Over the years, Nigerians have continuously witnessed the executive arm of the government intermingle with
massive corruption and repeatedly demonstrated failure to deliver on several performance indicators for any government interested in national development in both human and infrastructure index.

The humongous emoluments of the Nigerian legislature coupled with their failure to put the executive to task on their duties has made many also lose hope in the
Nigeria’s legislative arm of government too. The same also applies to the Nigeria Judiciary as a result of some scandalous judgment that has emanated from Nigeria’s supposedly ‘hallows chambers’ in recent times.

Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, remains one of the few if not the ONLY reasons why some Nigerians who voted or participated in the last general election still have some sort of hope in the Nigerian Judicial system’s ability to carry out its duties without fear or favor. A lot of Obidients (i.e. those who support Peter Obi) believe in Peter Obi and have trust in his pronouncement hence due to his insistence on his belief in the Nigerian Judiciary to pronounce not only judgment but also justice, many are prepared to wait on the Judiciary to prove Peter Obi conviction in their ability to do what is right.

The Nigeria judicial system is more or less on its “last credibility test card”. Misjudgment must be avoided to avoid a situation where Nigerians may be reduced to an environment
where the majority will begin to resort to self-help instead of approaching the law courts to seek redress over any situation that requires a third-party intervention in settling a dispute.

Desecration of The Nigeria Constitution

A very closely related danger to the one discussed above is concerned with the implication of carrying out a misjudgment that could possibly lead to total desecration of the Nigeria Constitution by the very arm of government that is supposed to protect it and maintain its sanctity by way of its responsibility as the interpreter of the Constitution. To avoid any misconception, the PEPT upholding of the current INEC selected President, will amount to not only destroying but in actual fact burying Nigeria’s Constitution.

The constitution is very clear on the eligibility of who can or cannot be President of Nigeria. The electoral law also clearly states the conditions required to win a Presidential election. In a lot of Nigeria The constitutional requirement to become a President will have to be totally
broken and discarded completely for the fraudulent declaration by INEC of a winner of the presidential election result on 1st of March, 2023 by 4.00 am to be valid.

Possibility of Coup d’état

Coup d’état. Yes. A very significant and serious danger that can result from the miscarriage of justice or misjudgment is the possibility of a Coup d’etat. There are many conditions that often come together to precipitate a military takeover of power in any country including in Africa. Aside from economic or insecurity issues another major factor that is often connected or can lead to the removal of a democratically elected government is the breakdown or perceived breakdown of proper enforcement or enforceability of fair law and order which is usually based on a very formidable judicial process.

Misjudgment by the judiciary by implication is a subtle direct invitation to military government. It should be of a serious concern to the Nigerian Judiciary given the current wave of military juntas toppling of what they deemed non-performing democratically government across West Africa.

Potential War in West Africa: The Niger Situation

The military in Niger Republic removed the civilian leader in the country recently. According to information available from many sources on the internet and official information released by the Niger Republic Military government, the previous administration led by the deposed elected President was accused of huge corruption. They were also accused of colluding with
western countries, especially France, for the continued exploitation of the countries’ natural resources without adequate compensation.

It must be stated that the Niger Republic has commercial deport of Uranium and Gold. Despite these resources and other natural resources, Niger is one of the poorest countries on earth. There was also the issue of the accusation of the civilian government’s failure to secure the country from terrorists who often attacked the country’s military officers. The deposed President is accused of releasing these terrorists whenever they are arrested by soldiers based on instruction from France.

Niger is a member of the Economic Community of West Africa States. Nigeria is a member and Nigeria President is currently the chairman of ECOWAS. France and the United States have a huge interest in the Niger Republic. France’s interest is in Uranium and Gold while the US has its largest Drone Military base in Niger worth over $100m. The US also has an interest in Nigeria – European Gas pipeline project that is bound to take gas from Nigeria (Warri) passing through Niger to Algeria and ultimately Europe. ECOWAS is a cooperative organization based on economic considerations and not defense or military agreements.

France and US are currently doing everything to push ECOWAS led by Nigeria to use all means including using the military option to force out the Military government in Niger and restore the deposed civilian ruler. African Union has advised against military intervention. Some members of the 16
ECOWAS nations have voiced their opposition to military intervention in Niger. Four of them have given a voice of support to the Niger Government. The Nigerian National Assembly has also insisted that the Nigerian President should NOT be engaged in the usage of Military attack in Niger.

State Governors of about 4 out the 7 Nigerian states that shared border
with Niger has also made an appeal to the Nigeria President not engaged
in any military attack or war with Niger as many Nigerian share same
ancestry with many Nigeriens in addition to many inter-marriage
relationships with Niger in 7 states. They also remind the President about
the economic and security implication such act will have on the states.
However the Nigeria President seems determined on attacking the Niger
despite glaring negative implications such as Security issues, Economic
issues, Social considerations and many more. Nigeria presently contributes
not less than 60% of ECOWAS funds and Military contributions. This means
that ECOWAS can NOT take any sort of action including military offensive
or otherwise without Nigerian support. The question is: why is Nigeria
President very much pro-military action in Niger? In whose interest is
military engagement which will be tantamount to declaring war on another
Country? What can possibly gain from military attack on Niger
government? In the story, “From Drug Lord to Presidential Candidate”, a
Crime Story published by David Hundeyin’s West Africa Weekly sometimes
a while ago before the Nigerian Presidential Election, Bola Tinubu has
several criminal cases relating to narcotics, proceeds of narcotics, money
laundering and many others some of which the American Crime
investigating outfit FBI are refusing to release the criminal files or detail
information to the public till date because of what they termed ’special
interest’ until 2026! The US have certain criminal information on the
Nigeria sitting President which he doesn’t want published as it may loudly
and embarrassingly end his Presidency which the Labour Party, People
Democratic Party and Alliance Peoples Movement are all challenging at the
PEPT at the Court Of Appeal in Abuja, Nigeria. The implication of this is
that should there be misjudgment by Judiciary, Nigeria will have a
President that is effectively under tele guidance or remotely controlled from
United States of America! And because he wants to keep the Nigeria
Presidential seat at any cost, he will be willing to do anything including
leading Nigeria and ECOWAS to a war with Niger Republic where a lot of

blood will be shed for a bloodless coup d’etat which the Nigeriens are
totally in support due to the economic and security challenges the country
they undergo under the civilian government.

World War III in Africa?
The INEC announced President of Nigeria Bola Tinubu from all indication
so far is bent on proceeding with Military intervention to remove the Niger
Republic Military Government. This is effort forcefully re-install the ousted
former civilian President could practically set the entire African continent on
fire of pseudo-war that may be remotely arranged from France and United
Stated of America on one side and Russia and China on the other side. A
little study of what is going on Sudan is a simple indicator. Former
President of Sudan created a pseudo-military outfit to fight rebels. Pseudo-
military wanted to stand alone and refused to be assimilated into regular
army. That decision has now resulted in 2 armies in Sudan. The Sudan
leader was ousted and the 2 armies now have 2 different foreign backers.
One is supported by US and the other by Russia! Currently in Niger, aside
the Niger Military government getting support from other 4 military
government lead West African countries of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and
Guinee. Algeria has promised to give electricity supply to Niger as a
replacement to the one cut off by Nigeria from Kainji Hydro Electric Dam.
The Russian through the Wagner Group are supporting Niger with men and
Military hardware and have even warned ECOWAS and Nigeria not to
embark on military intervention in Niger. This means France and US are
pushing Nigeria and ECOWAS to go into war with Niger with whom we
share borders in 7 states. Russia is indeed backing Niger Republic. Russia
will be also interested in ending the Nigeria – Europe Gas Pipeline which
passes through Niger which the US and France will do anything to keep
too. It is important to know that while France, US or Russia do not have
any Military base in Nigeria, France and US combined have over 20 military
bases in Africa. There is already military confrontation in Eastern Africa in

Sudan. With South Africa as a member of BRICS countries (i.e. Brazil,
Russia, India, China and South Africa), it will not take long before Russia
and China begin to encourage South Africa to step up his voice of
opposition along with African Union, AU to Nigeria carrying out any military
attack in Niger especially since the AU has before now clearly stated its
opposition to any form of Military intervention in Niger. It is not impossible
to project a potential several military backed multiple clashes in Africa
backed by Western Countries and Western Companies who are seriously
interested in several solid minerals scatter all over Africa and in Nigeria
particular as the economy of the future will powered by solid minerals and
not oil!

Devaluation of Education
In the petition of Labour Party and People Democratic Party to the PEPT,
many issues were raised regarding the fact that the allegedly winner of the
presidential election according to INEC should be disqualified and was
indeed not fit to participate in the election in the first place. This is because
of many multiple cases of academic certificate forgeries and falsification of
academic documents. The INEC declared winner has a record of submitting
two separate NYSC certificates on two different occasions both of which
their authenticity are under scrutiny and challenge in the court. The same
candidate is unable to present documentations regarding his Primary and
Secondary school education for current election while those submitted in
1999 are deemed fraudulent too. Investigative Journalist, David Hundeyin,
have written and published extensive articles that clearly shows that the
degree certificate purportedly issued by Chicago State University to the
current President which he submitted to INEC as a candidate for election is
actually fake and anything but genuine. The President is currently fighting
tooth and nail through the court to stop any approval of request in US to
compel his alleged Alma matter, Chicago State University, to release all his
academic documents available in the University to the public. Imagine a

narrative of a president of a country going to the law court to stop the
people he will be leading from gaining access to his academic record! A
misjudgment which will keep such a character as Nigeria President will be
sending a very loud and negative message to the Nigerian youth that
academic fraud acceptable and can is rewardable. And in addition,
education is not really important in life. For a country where a huge
number of youth are jobless with many involved in anti-social behaviours
such as drug abuse, internet based fraud, cultism and thuggery and
general criminality, this can lead a whole generation of Nigerian youths to
abandon pursuit and desire for proper education and embrace crime and

Increased Hostility Towards Nigerian Citizens and Organizations
One of the major critical fall out of a misjudgement by PEPT will be
establishment of a Presidency where the principal occupier of the Nigeria
number one office will be an individual that will be perceived and widely
viewed worldwide as a convicted criminal for drug and money laundering
related crimes. Unfortunately, we are in the age of technology where
internet based social media information moved around the entire globe in
matter of seconds. With such a reputation on the country highest political
leadership, citizens of such a country will automatically become target of
not only social media joke but even more damaging, will be the subjection
of Nigerians to multiple, higher and far more stringent level of checks in all
major transport point across the world. This will also impact on the country
perceived Financial Anti-money Laundering Compliance and Regulatory
Procedural ratings globally. This is bound to affect the ease of engaging in
business and financial transaction with other countries of the world.
Nigerians citizens seeking academic or even medical service opportunities
will have tougher times in accessing such request. Given the battered
image of the country and its citizens in many part of the world already
before now, a misjudgment by way of PEPT upholding INEC fraudulent

declaration will severely aggravate the already precarious situation. This is
in addition to almost certainty of further backlash from African countries
should the current President status as winner of the election be sustained
and he in turn proceed to led the country and ECOWAS to war against
Niger Republic. The African Union and some of the ECOWAS countries are
completely opposed to the military intervention in Niger under any guise.

Presidency Disloyalty to Nigeria and Nigerians
There are multiple documents all over the local and international media
space that heavily suggest that the alleged winner of the February 25 th ,
2023 Presidential Election who was fraudulently announced in nights while
Nigerians were asleep is in fact an agent or an asset to one of the
American government intelligence organizations. Documents on the
internet from the popular Wikileak source show that he has been a political
insider, informant and political analyst for them. He has been, according to
the documents, giving the US government what can be described as insider
view of information about general Nigerian government policies, political
decisions, classified reasons behind the official reason or information
available to general citizens, possible implications for Nigeria, Nigerians and
most importantly how it will affect US and possibly the entire world in
general. He did these using his access to both opposition political figures
and ‘political activist’ on one side and also use his connections to some
government officials. He was technically operating as a ‘double-agent’ not
only within Nigeria political sphere in order to feed information to US! He
had to do these and more probably as a sort of condition for settlement
regarding his many criminal files that the FBI is still refusing to make
public! The US intelligence community is reputable for engaging such
criminal individuals and in such schemes. Foreign assets they call them. It
is a scheme they consider as low risk and low cost security access to other
countries. This remains one of the biggest direct dangers to the Nigerian
State. In simple terms, misjudgment of the five Justices at the PEPT will be

opening the door of Nigeria to a President of Nigeria whose loyalty is first
to a Foreign Country, not the Nigeria Constitution and definitely not to
Nigeria and Nigerians! Remember the issues of US trying to pressurizing
former President Goodluck Jonathan into approving law to recognize same
sex in Nigeria? Or effort at introducing genetically modified organisms or
plants, GMOs (i.e. Foods)? Yes. What resistance will such a President put
up for Nigerians who are overwhelmingly in opposition to such issues? Your
guess is as good as mine.

Unsustainable Increased Emigration Rate
In the late 80s and early 90s, the crisis in the Nigerian educational sector,
specifically Universities, began to experience several intractable challenges
some of which led to several strikes by both the academic staff i.e. ASUU
and Non Academic staff (NASU). It became increasing regular in frequency
without any appropriate permanent solution or resolution coming from the
then military government acceptable to the Unions. At the core of the
challenges was the funding of the University system in terms of inadequate
remuneration, dilapidating facilities, inadequate funding for researches and
academic foreign study funds to name a few. Some of the university dons
perceiving the situation as hopeless began seeking application into foreign
universities either to work or work and also further their academic
knowledge. Majority of the lecturers who were more affected by the
incessant strikes initially started this as a temporary measure which some
engaged in for about one or two years. However, as the days goes by
without a seeming improvement with these challenges, some began make
such moves permanent while many worked with their planned 1 or 2
arrangement and returned to Nigeria believing that the situation will
improve. With the level of challenge affecting the education sector and the
general economy of the country getting worse, there was increasing
number of lecturers leaving the country and making their going permanent
without coming back. And that was how the very foundation of what was

to become better known today as the “Japa” phenomenon started. As the
economic situation of the country became worse, the Health sector
professionals were next to get on the train. Firstly, it started with the
medical doctors, then the Nurses and rest followed; Pharmacist, Dentist,
Opticians, Physiotherapist and list goes on with the number and frequency
increasing as the years goes by. In last few years, the frequency has not
only increased, the scope has even widened. This is due to a combination
of factors which has caused Nigeria economic fortune to further undergo a
downturn in indices, increasing insecurity issues and general failure of
leadership across all levels of government. All these have further expanded
the level of hopelessness and despair in the country. In addition, the post
Covid-19 effect all over the world, the political and economic breakaway of
United Kingdom from European Union and also the level of technology
which has further given wider access to information through Internet by
the advent of rapid development in mobile telephone technology. Internet
or the access to the entire world is basically in the palm of your hand in
virtually every corner of Nigeria. In last few years, aside from the
educational and health sector, a high number of different levels of IT
professionals have been leaving the countries in huge numbers. The
banking industry got a major hit from this about a year ago which even
caused as many of the banks to suffer near collapse of their IT
infrastructure brought about by very rapid huge depletion of IT manpower
over a very short period. Early this year, there were specific countries
especially requesting for Teachers in primary and secondary for immediate
employment. The is not to mention bankers and staff of many corporate
organization who have joined and are currently joining the ”Japa” train.
The biggest reason for all these challenges remains the level of economic
pressure, insecurity issues, breakdown of infrastructures and general
hopelessness from the negative impact of general leadership failures which
Nigerians have been experiencing across the country consistently over a
long period till date. A huge number of the Nigerian Population, above 90
million especially those in the youthful category who, according to INEC
constitute above 70% of those who register for election and collected their

Permanent Voters Card (PVC), placed a huge hope in the proper conduct of
the election especially with the new approve electoral law that involved the
application of some level of technology and multiple assurance and promise
of INEC on successful conduct of the general elections. The conduct of
INEC and its officials regarding the conduct of election left a lot of people
with hollow feeling of complete hopelessness of the possibility of ever
salvaging the country, Nigeria out its woes. It on record that before the
February 2023 Presidential election, a lot of Nigerian youth and educated
middle class hardly bother about the election in Nigeria largely because of
the total analogue nature of the election process which is always open to a
lot of manipulation and the candidates often presented by the two main
political parties who are individuals that usually carries a lot of baggage
and question marks regarding their fraudulent past and possible future
competence. However, the modification of the process and emergency of
certain individuals into the race brought new vigour and interest to the
election cycle like it has achieved for a long time. With all the
disappointment from how the entire process was handled, many have
finally made up their mind to return to their shell. The only hope that still
exists is squarely hinged on the possibility of rectifying the anomaly that
characterizes the election by a generally acceptable fair and just legal
resolution by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal. Any perceived
misjudgment by the court will either rekindle the almost extinguished hope
or finally put a nail to the coffin of hopelessness pervading country. It must
be stated here that one of the major direct and immediate implication of
misjudgment will be a potential massive emigration of Nigerians in a
volume that may practically bring many section of Nigeria life to its knees.
The potential additional impact on the already over-stretched and
inadequate Nigerian economy in the health sector, the education sector,
the banks, the Information Technology professionals etc.… will be better
imagine than described.

The Moral Burden
One of the core principles of true leadership is ability to influence others
positively in specific and particular direction towards achieving a set goal
which will help in carrying out a mission the leader set not only for the
leadership but for the followers as well. Ability to influence the followers by
the leader will ensures that both of them are able to work together in order
to achieve the vision the leader has envisioned for their collective future.
Cooperation of the followers is required and essential if the leader is to
function efficiently and effectively. However followership guarantee of
cooperation can only become a reality if and when ONLY the leader is fully
accepted by the followers.
Irrespective of how potentially good “policies, programs, plan, etc…” of any
political office holder, especially at the level of a country leadership, may
appears to be as long as the means of getting into the office by way of
electoral process is fraudulent, it is almost certain that such a leader
cannot and would never have the goodwill and buying in of the people into
the political leader administration. The direct implication of such a scenario
is any form of program implementation by such government is sure bound
to receive resistance or lack of cooperation from the general populace. It is
also important to note that such an administration may not only suffer
credibility issues internally, the country is liable to suffers same
internationally within the committee of nations. A lot countries in the
African continent and beyond are already raising eyebrows not only about
Nigeria Presidential electoral process in last election but also specifically on
the quality of the individual that was declared as the winner of the
presidential election by INEC. A misjudgment which uphold a candidate
that is deemed unqualified and benefits from fraudulent process will not
only send wrong signals to the international community but is also liable to
result in internal building up of serious tension between the government
and the people of the country such government is supposed to govern.

In summary, any form of misjudgment from PEPT will be tantamount to
undermining of not only the Nigerian Constitution but basically destruction
of the country judicial and legal process. Nigeria is a country that has been
engulfed in civil war before, faced several military coups, witness several
violent political upheavals, economic policy somersaults and general social
instability that has on severally occasions taken the countries to its knees.
Many countries of the world have buckle over under half of the weight of
such challenges and violently break into irreconcilable fragments with huge
consequences. That we have survived many of such challenges thus far is
not an excuse or license to create an invitation to another situation that
could literarily amount to pressing a self-destruct button. The humble
advice and plea to the Nigeria Judiciary and specifically to the 5 Justices of
the Nigeria Appeal Courts handling the February 25 th , 2023 Nigerian
Presidential Election at the Nigeria Presidential Election Petition Tribunal is
that their decision on this case before them may effectively determine the
very continued existence of Nigeria as a country. Nigerians, the African
continent and indeed the entire world at large are all waiting on them. Our
lordship need to know that any form of misjudgment will amount to

Odun Tutu writes from Lagos, Nigeria.