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You can’t intimidate judiciary, presidency tells Atiku 

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Atiku Abubakar. Pius Utomi EKPEI / AFP


The Presidency, yesterday, urged former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in this year’s election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to refrain from making statement that seems to intimate and cast aspersions on the integrity of the judiciary. 

It also described as ridiculous and comical, Abubakar’s reaction to yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling affirming the election of Gboyega Oyetola as governor of Osun State.

Abubakar had, in statement, charged the country’s judiciary to take a pulse of the nation and reflect it, saying God has placed a great responsibility in their hands and the duty to ensure that justice is done, irrespective of the pressure to do otherwise, by the powers that-be.

But the Presidency, in a statement signed by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Buhari has always been committed to fair play, which was clearly evident in the last general elections, saying he remains committed to even-handedness and justice always.

It added: “Many things fly in the face of logic, reason and legality in this portion of the statement. 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.”

“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, 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.” 

The Presidency added: “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.

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