Adegboruwa: The tribunal finds that INEC needs more independence to conduct credible elections. Read Full Article
The Independent National election Commission needs to be decentralised, according to legal expert Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), in order for it to be a more impartial, unbiased, and effective election arbiter in the nation.
This, according to Adegboruwa, was in response to the Presidential Election Petition Court’s decision on Wednesday, which he described as “not totally unexpected.” Adegboruwa made this statement in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
“In this particular case, the petitioners’ burden to overturn the election was practically insurmountable,” he stated. To make matters worse, INEC fought the petitioners to a standstill in a manner that seemed it had a stake in the outcome of the case.
“I genuinely don’t think anyone, including the lawyers, anticipated a different judgement from what was announced in Abuja today. There was no need for the strain.
Adegboruwa added that everyone, particularly the parties to the case, their solicitors, and all supporters of democracy, should give the ruling “serious thought.”
The statement said, “This is why we consistently underline that the electoral umpire should be the focus of anyone wishing to bring about a genuine change in our election history. Anyone designated the “winner” will typically coast to victory in the election tribunal without first unbundling INEC to make it more independent, non-partisan, and effective.
“When it appears that the foundation of our democratic engagements has been hijacked and undermined, there can be no meaningful success in the court’s decision of the legal concerns. We should look back and analyse the electoral process and the litigation that followed it as part of the lesson we can learn from this process. Any credible election in Nigeria cannot be produced by INEC as it currently stands.
Overall, perhaps there was an excessive expectation that the status quo would be overturned, despite the fact that many of the legal theories raised had long before been decided by the highest court.
Punch reports that on Wednesday, the presidential election petitions tribunal certified President Bola Tinubu as the victor of the election held on February 25.
This development came as a result of petitions filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as well as the Labour Party and its candidate, Peter Obi, challenging Tinubu’s victory as the winner of the presidential election declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission on March 1.