……dismisses Atiku’s Forgery case Against him
The Nigerian Supreme Court today made a ruling that caused outrage and concern among citizens.
In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court of Nigeria has affirmed the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the February 25th presidential election.
The court ruled that there was no merit to the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who had challenged the outcome of the election.
The Supreme Court found that the Independent National Electoral Commission had substantially complied with the Electoral Act in the conduct of the election but declared that it was not enough to nullify the entire election.
The court also dismissed a petition alleging forgery against the president Bola Tinubu, despite strong evidence that suggests the accusation is true.
The decision has raised questions about the impartiality and integrity of the court, and whether it can be trusted to rule on future cases.
The evidence from the CSU concerning the certificate that TInubu presented to INEC was very clear and straightforward, so it’s concerning that the Supreme Court would dismiss the case on technical grounds, rather than looking at the substance of the accusation.
On the issue of INEC’s non compliance in uploading election results in real time the Supreme Court acknowledged the potential impact of the alleged non-compliance on the confidence of voters in the electoral process, but found that it did not rise to the level of a legal violation that would have warranted a different outcome in the election.
The Supreme Court’s decision hinged on the Appellants’ failure to prove both non-compliance and substantial influence on the outcome of the election.
The Supreme Court rejected the argument that a different standard should apply to the FCT in terms of the requirement for candidates to secure a minimum of 25% of the vote. It held that the FCT does not have a unique legal status that would warrant a different interpretation of the law.
In striking out the evidence of some of Atiku’s witnesses, the Supreme Court emphasized the importance of admissible and relevant evidence in election petition cases.
All these makes it seem like the court is more interested in protecting TInubu than in upholding the rule of law.
Atiku had sought the leave of the apex court to present fresh evidence of forgery against Tinubu.
ATIKU through his lawyers pleaded with the court to look into the matter because of its constitutional and democratic implications.
Currently, the appointment of judges in Nigeria is a highly political process, and there have been allegations of corruption and nepotism in the selection process.
A key reform that could be made is to establish an independent commission to oversee the selection of judges, with clear and transparent criteria for selection.
This would help to ensure that judges are appointed based on their qualifications and expertise, rather than on political or personal connections.