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All Eyes On The Judiciary: Nigerian Presidential Drama Takes a Detour Through U.S. Courtrooms”

Earlier this month, Atiku Abubakar, a Nigerian presidential candidate, sought court approval to subpoena academic files belonging to President Bola Tinubu, which were held by Chicago State University (CSU). Abubakar aimed to clarify inconsistencies in Tinubu’s background, particularly regarding his birth year and education. Tinubu, who claimed to be born in 1952, had listed both 1954 and 1952 as birth years in different instances. Abubakar believed that CSU records would shed light on Tinubu’s educational history, including his admission and academic records. Tinubu, however, filed a motion to prevent the release of the records, citing U.S. student privacy laws.
In response to the case, the U.S. court appeared interested in proceeding, setting deadlines for both parties’ arguments. Tinubu maintained that discrepancies in his certificates were errors made by CSU and deemed Abubakar’s application irrelevant. Chicago State University authorities declined to release Tinubu’s academic records to Abubakar, citing a lack of relevance to the ongoing election petition at the tribunal. Tinubu’s academic history has been a subject of controversy since he became Lagos State’s governor in 1999, and his university certificate submission for the 2023 presidential election qualification stirred further debate.

All Eyes On The Judiciary: Nigerians Rally Nationwide as PEPT Verdict Looms

In a notable display of civic engagement, Nigerians have taken to the streets across the country, brandishing posters emblazoned with the hashtag #AllEyesOnTheJudiciary. This concerted effort aims to draw attention to the impending verdict by the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) in the capital city, Abuja.

Anticipation is building as the PEPT readies itself to deliver a crucial judgment on the petitions submitted by Presidential candidates Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People Democratic Party (PDP) and Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party. Both candidates have contested the validity of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s election.

Recent days have seen a series of dynamic developments surrounding this issue. The Federal Government’s agents have embarked on a campaign to dismantle billboards strategically positioned across Abuja, featuring the hashtag #AllEyesOnTheJudiciary. Simultaneously, Justice Ngozi Azinge of the Kano State Election Tribunal has made public an unsettling revelation. She disclosed that a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) is alleged to have attempted to sway the tribunal’s judges through bribery, in pursuit of a favorable outcome for his client.

The nation remains on edge as Nigerians await the decision of the PEPT, and their collective presence on the streets is emblematic of the importance placed on this legal juncture. The outcome has the potential to shape the political landscape significantly, underscoring the significance of these events in the current national narrative.


Former Minister Oby Ezekwesili Joins the Gaze: All Eyes On The Judiciary

in response to the ongoing controversy surrounding the “All Eyes on the Judiciary” billboard, Oby Ezekwesili, the former Minister of Education of Nigeria, has shared her perspective on Twitter. She referred to the concept as a powerful message and expressed her own vigilance toward the judiciary, a sentiment shared by numerous Nigerian citizens. Ezekwesili noted that this collective attention is crucial for both the Nigerian Judiciary and the citizens themselves, as it signifies a demand for probity, utmost integrity, transparency, and accountability in fulfilling their significant constitutional role.

Former Minister Oby Ezekwesili

Her tweet reads as follows:

I absolutely have my eyes on the Nigerian Judiciary and delighted to see many other citizens do too. #AllEyesOnTheJudiciary is one of the best things that has happened to our Judiciary, the 3rd Arm of Government, in recent times. Just like the other 2 Arms- Executive and Legislature, the Judiciary always needed our Citizens to demand probity, utmost integrity, transparency and accountability for their huge constitutional responsibility. One of the critical things youโ€™ll learn in Policy School is to always keep the Message simple for your target audience. The Judiciary has a Message from Citizens, who understand the importance of their country joining the league of countries that have through uncompromising adherence to Democratic Processes, built lasting institutions required for Development.


All Eyes on the Judiciary” Billboard Sparks Controversy Amidst Pending Verdict

As Nigeria’s Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) approaches its September 16 judgment deadline, the nation finds itself embroiled in a fervent debate over a controversial billboard bearing the message “All Eyes on the Judiciary.” The billboard’s nationwide display has ignited tensions, prompting the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) to take swift action.

Last week, the attention-grabbing billboard, seemingly aligned with the prevailing sentiment, emerged on the country’s landscape. However, its appearance soon raised concerns about its potential to incite unrest and disrupt public peace, given the sensitive context surrounding the ongoing PEPT proceedings.

In response, Olalekan Fadolape, Director General of ARCON, issued a directive mandating the immediate removal of billboards featuring the contentious message. Fadolape emphasized that the billboard’s concept had not gained the requisite approval from the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP), an oversight that led to the breach of ARCON’s guidelines.

Fadolape further elucidated that the advertisement’s central theme revolved around matters currently under consideration by the PEPT. Its controversial nature, coupled with its potential to fuel public unrest, prompted ARCON to view it as a form of blackmail against the Nigerian Judiciary and the distinguished Justices of the Tribunal.

Amidst the outcry, ARCON took decisive action, not only ordering the immediate takedown of the billboards but also dissolving the ASP secretariat responsible for the oversight lapse. Fadolape’s directives also included the suspension of the Director and Deputy Director of Regulations, as the Advertising Standards Panel’s credibility came under scrutiny.

As the controversy surrounding the “All Eyes on the Judiciary” billboard continues to unfold, it casts a spotlight on the intricate intersection of freedom of expression and the responsibility to maintain public order during pivotal judicial proceedings. The nation now stands at a crossroads, awaiting both the impending verdict of the PEPT and the resolution of the billboard debate, with the echoes of the slogan reverberating throughout Nigeria’s socio-political discourse


Post 2023 Electionย 

Amid a backdrop of palpable anticipation, the fervent cry of “All Eyes on the Judiciary” resounds throughout Nigeria, serving as a poignant reflection of the nation’s collective hopes and anxieties. As the impending judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) looms large, Nigeria’s democracy stands at an extraordinary juncture.

The PEPT, composed of a five-member panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, currently stands as the ultimate arbitrator in the petitions submitted by presidential contenders Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP). Their challenges center around the candidacy of President Bola Tinubu, the representative of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the fiercely contested 2023 general election.

The phrase “All Eyes on the Judiciary” encapsulates the nation’s collective sentiment as it awaits this watershed moment. The outcome of the PEPT’s deliberations holds the potential to reshape Nigeria’s political landscape, influencing not only the presidential contenders but the broader democracy that millions have embraced.

Amid this charged atmosphere, the phrase takes on added significance, capturing the essence of a nation on tenterhooks, anxiously awaiting the pronouncement that will shape the country’s future. The tribulations and complexities of the 2023 general elections find their denouement in the hands of the PEPT, whose forthcoming judgment will serve as a critical gauge of the judiciary’s commitment to upholding democratic ideals.

In these crucial times, “All Eyes on the Judiciary” is more than a catchphrase; it’s a reflection of Nigeria’s aspirations for transparency, fairness, and the consolidation of its democratic principles. The nation watches, with bated breath, for the verdict that will echo far beyond court chambers, resonating in the corridors of power and the hearts of its citizenry.

is a poignant reminder that the pursuit of a just and equitable democracy demands vigilance, scrutiny, and an unwavering commitment to the ideals upon which Nigeria’s future is built.

 


 


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