Heavy security has been deployed at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal venue and other strategic locations in Abuja, Top Society reports.
The security agents were deployed ahead of Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) judgment on the petitions challenging the victory of Bola Tinubu as the winner of the February 25 presidential poll.
Supporters of the All Progressive Congress (APC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) have been exchanging words on social media, as each expressed optimism that the ruling would favour their candidates.
Armed riot policemen, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and other security operatives in plainclothes have resumed at strategic points in Abuja to forestall any breach of law and order that might arise after the judgment.
All major roads leading to the Court of Appeal would be barricaded by the police before the court proceedings commence.
The acting Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, instructed all police commands and formations nationwide to safeguard significant trouble areas within their jurisdiction to prevent any disruptions of law and order.
The police was reported to have made both covert deployments of operatives and equipment across the nation, especially in Abuja and Lagos State.
This is a result of concerns about a possible eruption of protests which may be instigated by disgruntled political elements.
“Everyone is concerned. The police, military, DSS, and others are concerned. There’s an ongoing strike, and the PEPT judgment is expected to be delivered tomorrow which puts a lot of pressure on all security agencies.
“This is because some politicians and groups may want to use the opportunity to sponsor protests or cause violence if the PEPT judgment doesn’t favour them or their choice candidate,” a senior officer had said on Tuesday.
The Police has also said the force had put in place all necessary security measures. The force disclosed that its officers and men were fully prepared to maintain order and enforce the laws while respecting the rights and freedoms of all citizens.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumiyiwa Adejobi in a statement cautioned “mischief makers and political gladiators to be cautious in their actions and statements.”
The NPF further noted that it would not condone activities capable of inciting violence or causing a descent into anarchy, adding that all citizens must embrace peace and maintain calm, regardless of their political affiliations, to ensure a peaceful and secure environment.
“In its bid to fortify security architecture and forestall any breakdown of law and order across the country as a result of the forthcoming Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Judgment scheduled to be passed on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, the Nigeria Police Force has strengthened its deployment across the length and breadth of Nigeria,” Adejobi assured Nigerians.
The judgment is expected to be delivered by the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Haruna Tsammani, assisted by other members of the panel-Justices Stephen Adah, Monsurat Bolaji-Yusuf, Moses Ugo, and Abba Mohammed, at the court of Appeal, Three Arms zone, Abuja.
The Chief Registrar, Court of Appeal headquarters, Umar Bangari, had disclosed, on Monday, that the tribunal verdict will be delivered live on television stations.
He noted that the live broadcast was to promote transparency and openness and for Nigerians to watch the proceeding.
On March 1st, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), announced that Tinubu from the All Progressives Congress had won the presidential election with 8.8 million votes, defeating the PDP’s candidate, Atiku, who secured 6.9 million votes, as well as the LP candidate, Obi, who received 6.1 million votes, along with 15 other contenders.
However, five political parties challenged the outcome of the polls. The major contenders-Atiku and Obi asked the tribunal to nullify Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 presidential election.