Democracy in Nigeria enters the next phase on Wednesday, 6th of September 2023, as Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Court gives Judgement in what many was expecting justice.
In the vein of freedom of speech and opinion, I have little to say about the Judgement given yesterday, Wednesday, 6th of September 2023.
1. Election Petition needs to be approached differently from other litigation because it is not a dispute between the individual parties at court but between each party at court and the entire country represented by the population that voted in the election.
2. Applying technicalities in election petition adjudication is an act of punishing the entire country for filing errors made by legal counsels.
This certainly has no bearing with justice, fairness and good conscience. It is an ant-people application of legal ‘punctuation errors’ to favour vested interests other than the people.
In democracy election of leaders must emanate from the choice of the people whether concluded at the polls or decided in the courtroom.
3. Democratic Justice can only be done at election petition when the Judges focus on extracting the will of the people already expressed in the disputed elections, from the evidence presented before it, not on any legal ‘punctuation error’, aka technicalities.
4. Relying on technicalities for election petition rulings throws up winners that suffer illegitimacy crisis that ultimately bear negatively on the country, including the courts and the entire judicial system.
In recent times in Nigeria, you hear expressions like ‘Supreme Court Governor’ or ‘Supreme Court Senator’, etc. these are peoples’ voices of rejection for such individuals; affirming that they were not elected by them but imposed on them by the court.
This of course debases the courts and reduces the confidence of the people in the Judiciary, and very likely further encourage electoral violence by desperate politicians who will fight at all costs in the field since they no longer trust the courts to look at petitions on their merit.
5. Employing technicalities in election petition adjudication is an easy way to compensate bad acts with good rewards. It is way to encourage bad people with lots of money to venture into politics and grab power, knowing that even if they cannot win the peoples acceptance and votes, they can do so with violence, and then rely on the courts to validate their roguery with the gavel by simply inducing it to look for a technical error in the petitioners’ filing uon which to kill the possibility of hearing the substantial issues in the petition.
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It is a recipe for enabling emergence of leaders who have no compassion for the citizens nor feel they owe anyone the duty of accountability.
No country can make meaningful development this way.
6. If good conscience, honesty, integrity and democratic principles are elements for assessing the ruling of the Nigeria’s 2023 PEPC, it will in no way worth celebrating. Of course, there are those celebrating it – for whatever reason.
Nevertheless, it is only a matter of time before those who celebrate become victims of the comeuppance of such an ant-people legal validation of an obvious outcome of a fraudulent process.
7. The Supreme owes Nigeria and humanity a duty to rectify the wrongs of this ruling. The onus lies on the apex court to either reset this normalisation of the abnormal or sustain it.
Whichever way the Supreme Court adjudicates, all Nigeria of goodwill and conscience that have remained resolute standing with the truth, especially those going through persecutions for that sake, must keep their faces up and celebrate their courage in standing with the truth at a time it is the most endangered species in Nigeria sociopolitical economy.
8. North or south, east or west, truth is truth, it does not change. In the man that truth dies, living is nothing less than a putrid existence.
9. To turn truth into a lie for money is to have sold one’s soul and essence at that amount.
10. To those who hide behind the cloak of ‘fake patriotism’ to ask people to move on in error, know it that no good will ever come from persistence in error. Error plus error is more error. To think that abundant good will sprout from bad is nothing but delusion. Nemo dat quod non habet – no one can give what they don’t have.
11. I wish all peace