President Bola Tinubu has denied allegations that he is undermining the judiciary and planning to foist a one-party state in Nigeria.
The denial comes in response to questions raised by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, regarding the integrity of the judiciary, especially after recent court judgments that sacked some governors of opposition parties in certain states.
In a statement, the President’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, insisted that Tinubu remained committed to upholding judicial independence and Nigeria’s democratic values.
Onanuga added that the allegations arose in the context of the PDP’s “poor performance” in recent appeal court rulings regarding the election of some of its governors.
“President Tinubu is a democrat to the core. We make bold to say that as president, he has not interfered with the judgment of the judiciary,” the statement said.
“The PDP and former Vice President and his spokesman have become overtly desperate to hang their woes on President Tinubu and the judiciary.
“We had witnessed how, under his watch, the PDP governor in Osun defeated the APC at the Supreme Court. Similarly, the PDP Governor in Bauchi also won his case in the Appeal court, beating the APC.
“President Tinubu is also not planning to impose a one-party state as Atiku has serially alleged and his party and spokesman have now parroted.”
The presidential aide rejected Atiku’s claim that Tinubu interfered with judicial processes.
He cited instances where PDP candidates triumphed over All Progressives Congress candidates in Supreme and Appeal courts, underlining Tinubu’s commitment to democracy and the rule of law.
Onanuga further accused Atiku and the PDP of attempting to destabilise Nigeria’s political landscape.
He added, “Unlike Atiku Abubakar, President Tinubu’s record as a democrat par excellence and a strong advocate of the rule of law has been globally acknowledged.
“His record of service as governor, which witnessed giant strides in various facets of the state, was responsible for the dominance of his political structure in Lagos and not by any undemocratic conduct, as Atiku Abubakar wants the public to believe.
“While Atiku and PDP are now crying wolf over the Appeal Court rulings on governorship polls in Plateau, Zamfara and Nasarawa States, we hasten to ask the former Vice President where he was in 2019 when the court ruled against All Progressives Congress in Zamfara State. The court then awarded all the positions won by the APC to PDP.
“We once again implore Atiku and PDP to stop their campaign of calumny and blackmail against the judiciary and the honourable judges and justices.
“Judgments are based on law and evidence. In election petition cases, they are based on the Electoral Act and the Constitution, not on sentiments and emotions.”