A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has hailed the Supreme Court’s judgment which affirmed the victory of President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress in the February 25 Presidential Election.
Adegboruwa in a statement on Thursday, October 26, 2023, described the Supreme Court judgment as “sound in law.”
The senior lawyer in his statement blamed the Independent National Electoral Commission for the vehement disputes among supporters of opposing parties and their parties over the conduct of the election.
He wondered why there is no provision for sanctioning INEC over the failure to keep its pre-election promise to upload election results on the iREV, maintaining that this was responsible to an extent, for the loss of public confidence in the electoral process.
Adegboruwa however maintained that despite this failure of the electoral umpire, such failure could not cause the election results to be nullified.
The statement reads: “The Supreme Court held that failure by INEC to upload election results on iREV leads to loss of public confidence in the electoral process.
“The Court however held that such failure will not lead to the nullification of election results. The judgment is sound in law and accords with the relevant statutes on the issue.
“What then is the penalty for the electoral umpire that failed Nigerians upon its voluntary undertaking? Because INEC is still busy assuring Nigerians that future election results will be transmitted electronically.”
He however urged the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act 2022 “to give us transparent elections. We cannot continue in this fashion.”
He added: “Presently, INEC has continued to assure Nigerians that the off-cycle elections for Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi governorship elections will be conducted electronically and the results uploaded on the INEC iREV portal.
“The use of technology is to prevent manipulation of election results. I urge INEC to help Nigeria by keeping to its guidelines and public statements and undertakings.”
The lawyer also faulted the practice of political office holders and other public officers abandoning their duty posts to attend court sittings of their party members.
He said: “So many public officers attended court to listen to the judgment, leading to loss of manpower.
“When a politician is appointed into a public office, he ceases to be partisan but becomes an officer of the federal republic.
“Public officers abandoning their official duties to attend court proceedings in which they play no official role should be discouraged.
“The National Assembly should set up a special committee to scrutinize the judgment of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court amending the Electoral Act 2022.”