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Nigeria News

Pains And Gains of Election Tribunal

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ElevateNews takes a look at the gains and pains of election petition tribunal.

There are some election results I think should not be contested at the tribunal because the outcomes are predictable. A very good example is the presidential election tribunal between the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party.

In other words, the election tribunal between President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Besides the fact that the PDP lacked quality evidence to nail the ruling APC at the tribunal, the incumbent government has perfected its strategy to own the judiciary.

Buhari won at the tribunal on the day the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen was booted out of office over allegation of corruption and replaced with Justice Mohammed Tanko.

All the cases, including the alleged fraudulent INEC server and lack of senior secondary school certificate against President Muhammadu Buhari by PDP, were thrown out.

In fact, the numerous Senior Advocates paraded by PDP, and its presidential candidate Atiku were taught new law at the tribunal sitting in Abuja last week.

The pictures of them, led by Mike Ozakhome showed how the lawyers were taking a snooze as the judgment was being read. It appears that the party would be approaching the Supreme Court to test its wit against the judgment at the tribunal.

But Atiku should be advised not to commit his money to this anymore because the handwriting is clear that PDP will never win this case. The Tribunal, no doubt did a thorough job as it virtually turned the Appeal Court where the case was held to a lecture theatre.

Of course, there have been a few federal lawmakers whose victories have been overturned at the tribunal, they have appealed the judgment at the appellate court. There are those whose elections were upheld by the tribunal but in all these a lot of money is being wasted on litigations.

It’s a gain for the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun as the tribunal affirmed his victory against Adekunle Akinlade of APM but pain for Senator Dayo Adeyeye who lost at the tribunal in Ekiti State.

Adeyeye has since appealed, which of course it’s not going to be free of charge. He will be spending millions of naira to regain his victory at the appeal court. It was the former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu that began the massive overturn of electoral victory, using judicial process.

Tinubu spent on litigation to ensure the election of the former Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbseola against Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. He also bankrolled the victory of Dr. Kayode Fayemi in his first tenure in Ekiti through the judicial process.

Also, Tinubu was the backbone of the former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole who won his first term through the judicial process. Election tribunal is gradually becoming an institution rather than a process now as many political party candidates have regained their lost victories through it.

This will continue until the INEC is able to conduct a free and fair election.

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