Activist Urges NASS To Enact Law To End Litigations Before Swearing-In
The National Assembly should save Nigeria’s democracy by making a law that will enforce the conclusion of election petition litigations before winners are sworn into offices.
Dr Dele Maxwell Ugwuanyi, a civil rights activist, stated this on Thursday in Enugu during an interview. According to him, it will be difficult for the Supreme Court to upturn the victory of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu ‘considering the way Nigeria’s constitution is skewed’.
He said, “When you talk of election petitions, it will be impossible to upturn a presidential election in Nigeria because of the processes involved. If you sue INEC in your petition, INEC will frustrate you with evidence. The litigation should not be after the winner had been sworn in. Even in Kenya, no swearing-in before the end of litigation. America takes about 40 days. Our own is complicated.”
He said both the Labour Party and Peoples Democratic Party did not prepare very well in their petitions to sack President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, which upheld Tinubu’s election on Wednesday.
Ugwuanyi said, “It baffles me that of all the witnesses that LP and PDP presented, there was no participant from the polling units. It is the agent at the unit that brings the evidence, and not from Amazon or TVC reporters. The petitioners did not prepare adequately. They were more interested in SANs and social media.
“The judgement was detailed. The judges didn’t differ in the judgement. That shows the seriousness attached to it. On the 25 percent of Abuja, there is no jurisdiction that confers electoral specialty on any city. Washington doesn’t enjoy that status. Abuja has a special status, but doesn’t confer any electoral advantage. The Abuja factor is just an addendum. Anybody arguing that 25 per cent of Abuja is mandatory is not realistic.”
On the verdict that INEC can decide whether to use electronic or manual transmission of results, the social commentator said, “You have to prove how the process was not complied with. In Wike’s case, the Supreme Court ruled that card readers are not known to the law. The same thing applies here. Whatever is uploaded, candidates should have the official results from their agents. It seems petitioners didn’t have agents in some polling units.
“We should blame INEC, but the National Assembly should make a law making the end of litigations compulsory before swearing-in. They should stop sharing money and do the right thing.”