There are indications of rising tension less than 24 hours that the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) would be delivering judgement on the petitions filed by Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), challenging the declaration of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the February 25 presidential poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Meanwhile, as tension rises 24 hours to the tribunal’s judgement on Wednesday, President Bola Tinubu is currently in the United States (US) attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session.
The issues raised at the proceedings of the tribunal, generated high curiosity and hope in the various political camps, including among citizens on the streets.
National Daily Newspapers monitoring in certain busy areas in Lagos metropolis on Tuesday, observed that the roads were unusually deserted; few vehicles on the roads. Although, Tuesday coincided with the commencement of the two days warning strike mobilized by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
The ever-busy Ogba-Berger route on the exit corridor from Lagos State had low vehicular traffic. Major streets in Ikeja, the state capital, from Oba Akran to Awolowo Road, Allen Avenue, Opebi and the environs, including the Alausa axis, were unusually calm with low traffic. People were off the road for fear of violence outburst.
At various newsstands, people were busy arguing on the probable outcome of the judgement to be delivered by the Judges at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in less than the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Army had cautioned against violent protest of the judgement of the tribunal on Wednesday.
In Lagos, armed police officers, including soldiers were sighted on patrol in major parts of the city on Tuesday, from Ikeja to Ojota, Surulere, Yaba and other locations.
News men gathered that party supporters have been enthusiastic for victory, and some have taken to marathon prayers.
The judgement on Wednesday is, however, not final. Any party that loses could still proceed to the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Bolna’an Dongban Mensem, on Monday, May 8, 2023, inaugurated members of the PEPT at the Court of Appeal Headquarters, Abuja.