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PEPT Verdict: Fate of Nigeria Uncertain — Catholic Bishops

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The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) said that Nigeria is on the edge of uncertainty as the case goes to the Supreme Court and the controversy over the Presidential Elections Petitions Tribunal’s (PEPT) decision continues.

Yesterday, at the opening ceremony of the 2023 Second Plenary Assembly of the CBCN in Abuja, the President of the Conference, Archbishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, expressed concerns about the way the elections were run, which he said did not meet people’s legitimate expectations or moral and legal standards.

He talked about how the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, or PEPT, treated the petitions that unhappy candidates made.

“After hearing their petitions, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, or PEPT, made its decision in a marathon hearing on September 6, 2023,” the Catholic Bishops said.

“The Election Petition Tribunal’s five judges all ruled against the requests. They said that they were not good enough.

“Even though billions of naira were taken from taxpayers to pay for the BVAS technology as a game-changer in our general elections, the judges in their ruling tried, among other things, to say that it was wrong to expect INEC to keep its promise or follow the electoral regulation of transmitting election results electronically in real-time from polling units.

“While accepting the judges’ opinions, two of the petitioners didn’t think their decision was fair, so they went to the Supreme Court to get justice.

“As this case moves to the next level, the fate of the country and the future of democracy in our country continue to hang in the balance. We pray and hope that the Supreme Court judges will not bend the law or try to please the whims and caprices of either side. We also pray and hope for a day when all election results will be decided for sure at the voting places, not in court.”

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