As aggrieved Parties head to the Presidential election tribunal to make a case against the improper conduct of the February 25, 2023 election as directed by INEC, three critical issues stand out:
The eligibility of a contestant to stand for election to the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in view of it’s sacredness and sanctity as the highest position in the country.
The validity of the election process against the Provisions of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended.
The profundity or otherwise of the declaration of a winner against the violations of the provisions of the Electoral act 2022.
Peter Obi has taken leave of INEC to furnish it with the certified true copies(CTC) of the declared election results to challenge the veracity of the process that produced a “winner” as declared by INEC.
Peter Obi’s litigation is founded on the following assertive statements of claim:
I won the Presidential election clean and square and I am going to prove it in the court.
It is necessary for us to know that if you want to answer His Excellency, the process that brought you to that position must be excellent.
My trust in INEC has evaporated because it is not truthful to itself but I have utmost confidence in the Nigerian justice system having myself obtained justice on three occasions from our courts.
Peter Obi’s recourse to seek redress and upturn INEC’s disagreeable verdict is based on three planks:
WHY THE MANDATE CAN BE RECLAIMED.
The issue around eligibility of a contestant to stand for election to the office of President of Nigeria is clearly captured in Section 137 subsection 1-d which States that:
“A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if:
He is under a sentence of death imposed by any competent court of law or tribunal in Nigeria or a sentence of imprisonment or fine for any offence involving dishonesty or fraud(by whatever name called) or by another offence, imposed on him by any court or tribunal or substituted by a competent authority for any other sentence imposed on him by such a court or tribunal”.
The key words in the above subsection are:
Dishonesty and Fraud.
In keeping with the provisions of this constitution and weighed against the allegations of illicit possession and dealing on narcotics committed in the USA way back in 1996 by the person declared President-Elect by INEC, presupposes a prima facia case established with prove of Certified True Copies(CTC) of court judgement for forfeitures authenticated with the payment of the sum of four hundred and sixty thousand USA dollars($460,000) to extricate the culprit from prosecution.
The payment of fine by way of forfeiture for infringing on USA narcotics laws constitutes a breach of Nigeria’s law as signatory to the World convention of international narcotics law.
It is distraught that APC did not properly screen it’s Presidential candidates before their primaries and the fact that the intelligence infrastructure of Nigeria may not have issued a top level screening certificate to any of the Presidential candidates to warrant their inclusion in the Presidential election of February 25, 2023.
If the Labour Party is able to avail or furnish the Presidential election tribunal with Certified True Copies of the forfeiture transactions, it would have provided substantial evidence to disqualify the President-Elect from being sworn in as the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria based on breach of rule of law and constitutionalism.
HOW THE MANDATE CAN BE RECLAIMED.
The how of reclaiming the mandate speaks to due process and the validity of the election process in accordance with strict adherence to Electoral act of 2022 and INEC approved official guidelines as quasi legislation to drive the 2023 Presidential election to fruition and success.
Rather than play to rules, INEC vacated the provisions of the 2022 Electoral act as captured in Sections 60 to 69 on the use of cutting edge technology to execute the election process by effectively bypassing manual(Analogue) collation reporting and release of results to adopting digital(BVAS AND IREV PLATFORMS) for real time online rendition of all election results, to an ill conceived manual collation of results that gave rise to election improprieties and a questionably discredited verdict.
The electoral act intentionally and deliberately directed INEC to deploy full technology cocktail to execute the 2023 general elections and the National Assembly approved a whopping budget of about #350 billion for this purpose without authorising a mixture of analogue cum digital interface that lawyers may rely unpon to argue on technicalities.
INEC’s claim of technical glitches is unfounded, untenable and absolutely unacceptable in the circumstances that the same BVAS machine did upload election results of the National Assembly real time online same day.
INEC’s failure to render presidential election results real time online through BVAS to IREV was a breach of process, waste of time, waste of public funds, abuse of office and gross dereliction of duties.
INEC undermined the right of the electorates to elect their leaders by overruling the use of digital technology to analogue platform and is in breach of both the Electoral act and it’s official guidelines.
- INEC by its actions of omission and commission downgraded, deceived and discredited the entire election process bringing it to disrepute, disputations and nullity in the eyes of law.
WHEN THE STOLEN MANDATE CAN BE RECLAIMED.
The timing for reclaiming the stolen mandate is a moral burden that beckons on the Judiciary to vacate INEC’s declaration on strong grounds of infractions of the law and international treaty obligations binding on Nigeria to apply and respect.
Two periods are discernible as to when redress can be mitigated and justice served to correct INEC’s inadequacies in handling the 2023 Presidential election.
If the Labour Party can provide enough evidence that swearing in the President-Elect on may 29, 2023 is injurious, discretional and derogatory to the corporate existence of Nigeria’s seat of power, as regards the narcotic charge and forfeiture transactions vested on the President-Elect, a Supreme court pronouncement can upturn the swearing in of INEC’s verdict.
This supposition is borne out of Chapter VI, Part 1, Section 130, Subsection 2 which states:
“The President shall be the Head of State, the Chief Executive of the Federation and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces of the Federation. “
The office of the President of Nigeria bears a triune regulatory power structure involving:
The President as territorial leader exercising Diplomatic functions.
The President as Chief Executive of the Federation exercising peripheral headship over thirty six subnational states in which twenty four states won by APC and LP or two-thirds of Nigeria are up against INEC’s verdict in legal duet to vacate INEC’s declaration for redress.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces of Nigeria in which case the military high command reserves the right of pledging loyalty to the wishes of the electorates in a mandate freely given but uniquely torpedoed by vaunting manipulations and altruistic dissonance.
While chief MKO Abiola was coasting home to landslide victory in the June 12, 1993 Presidential election, it was the military high command’s refusal to yield loyalty to his Presidency if he wins, based on his character and track records in his corporate dispositions with I.T.T as claimed by top notch officers and affirmed by General IBB, that brought that election to cancellation and nullity using legal brit bats as veiled conspiracy strategy.
If some powerful puritanic tendencies in Nigeria rise to reject the swearing into office of a President-Elect with narcotics trail on his path, it may truncate his swearing in on the 29th of may, 2023 on the grounds that Nigeria’s seat of power must not be diminished or brought to odium and opprobrium before the global comity of nations with Nigeria being the largest Black nation on planet earth.
However, if this scenario emerges, the Elders of Nigeria and former Nigeria Presidents under the auspices of the National Council of State may sue for Interim Government to foreclose national implosion.
While this may happen, Supreme court shall have ample time to scrutinise the INEC mess and find a supposed winner of the 2023 Presidential election after sorting and sifting the rewritten and manipulated figures from all the states collation centers.
Peter Obi having secured twelve States with full sole compliment of Abuja votes in his kitty is the man to beat in the emerging judicial fire works that will stand out as locus classicus in Nigeria.
Prof Mahmoud Yakubu will go down as a worst umpire ever and major fresh amendments to the electoral act may be in the offing.
INEC calibrated the current election crises to happen they moment it switched off the BVAS by denying it access to IREV and resorted to manual collation to consummate its odious election infractions and latter put the blame on glitches that was not the case.
Nigerians will pull through this INEC instigated crises stronger, better and wiser .
A new Nigeria is coming and we shall get it right thereafter.
Massive corruption in INEC shall soon burst open and will give philip to the claim that the Presidential election results and declaration of winner by INEC was riddled with bribery and corruption.
God bless Nigeria.