- Calls For The Amendments of the Electoral Act & The Law Setting Up INEC
By Williams Adesoji
Reporting from Benin City, Nigeria.
THE verdict of the Presidential Electoral Petition Tribunal (PEPT) by the Appealate Court in Nigeria, on September 6th, 2023, concerning the petitions of the Presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, against the victory of President Bola Tinubu, as a result of the February 25th, 2023 Presidential Election, has been described as a “stab on the back of Nigerian voters”.
This view was made on September 7th, 2023, by the Executive Director of Nigeria Good Governance Research Centre, and a renowned human rights/pro-democracy activist, Comrade lgbotako Nowinta, via a press release he signed and made available to journalists in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
Comrade Nowinta who is also a peace and conflict resolution expert, said the mass of Nigerian voters placed so much hope on the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) on February 25, 2023, which was dashed cruelly, while the 5 Appeal Court judges that constitutes the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal simply placed a dagger on the back of Nigerian voters, by dismissing the petitions brought by Peter Obi.
According to the full text of the press release:
“The bulk of Nigerian voters wanted a drastic genuine change in the highest political leadership of Nigeria, hence they came out massively to vote for Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, during the February 25th, 2023, Presidential Election in Nigeria; but the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu decided to play on the intelligence of Nigerian electorates by neglecting the much anticipated electronic transmission of results.
“The verdict of the 5 Appeal Court judges that constitutes the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal ( PEPT) in Nigeria, was tantamount to stabbing of Nigerian voters on the back, by rubbishing the electronic transfer of results which is a key component of the Electoral Act in Nigeria. We had expected the PEPT to have recommended the probing of Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu for betraying Nigerian voters; even the European Union Report of the 2023 Presidential Election, presented by the Labour Party was thrown out.
“More shocking, alarming and unfortunate was the view of the PEPT that the 1999 constitutionally enshrined 25% requirement ( as amended) of the Federal Capital Territory, for the election of a presidential candidate in Nigeria, is “irrelevant”. Today, the bulk of the electorates are not only dumbfounded but mourning the state of the Nigerian State and the judiciary.
“To prevent a repeat of what has happened in future, we hereby call for the amendments of the law setting up the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) to make it truly neutral and independent, of being manipulated by any sitting president in Nigeria, just like what is obtainable in United States and other advanced democracies in Europe. The Electoral Act must be revisited to prevent ambiguous clauses, such as we have seen sadly about the key issue of electronic transfer of results.
“What a travesty of justice in Nigeria! While we are yet to find the ‘masses soul’ in the judiciary, our country remains a post – colonial, predatory and rential contraption, being mercilessly plundered by those who criminally indulge in financial recklessness cum stark stealing of our commonwealth and monumental misplacement of progressive priorities, under a most unwanted character as President.
“Due to disastrous economic policies (such as the mindless removal of oil subsidy without adequate provision and preparation for the masses) under President Bola Tinubu, the life of an average Nigerian has become like a flower without dew; it colourless and dry; the so called democratic system has become a glaring enemy.
” As the interested parties approach the Supreme Court, the struggle to take back our country continues!
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