2023 presidential election: Why INEC is wrong to declare Tinubu winner – Ex- Justice minister, Aondoakaa
A former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Micheal Aondoakaa, SAN, has faulted the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, winner of the 2023 presidential election.
Aondoakaa pointed out that it was illegal to declare a person President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, when such a person failed to meet the constitutionally required 25% of votes in the Federal Capital Territory. The senior advocate of Nigeria said this when he appeared on Arise TV at the weekend to discuss the outcome of the presidential and national assembly elections, mentioning that in a similar case in 2008, the Supreme Court interpreted the word “And” conjunctively making it a mandatory requirement for anyone aspiring to be the President of the Federation.
According to him, the law has not changed since fourteen years ago when the case was decided, adding that it will be incumbent on the apex court to re-interpret that section of the Constitution again. In his words “the Supreme Court has a right to defeat their previous decision or stand by it according to the doctrine of Stare Decisis”. INEC on Wednesday went on to declare the APC candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu winner of the 2023 presidential election despite the outcry of Nigerians over alleged massive rigging of the electoral process.
The former minister of justice said that the electoral umpire violated its own guidelines by failing to upload results of the election from the polling units directly to its server. “The Supreme Court is conscious about a party following its own guidelines and how much more INEC whose guidelines have a Constitutional Flavour,” the learned silk said.
“They will need to have a good reason to be told to the tribunals why they deviated from their guidelines and they must justify that deviating from those guidelines did not invalidate the results,” he said. He said the electoral umpire decided to change the goalpost in the middle of the game, insisting that this will be a serious issue to justify.
We’re Confident Peter Obi Will Retrieve Mandate – Ohanaeze
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has expressed optimism that the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, would reclaim his mandate in court. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the presidential election held on Saturday, February 25. Following his defeat, the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi approached the election tribunal to challenge the victory of Tinubu.
Speaking with newsmen, the national publicity secretary of the organisation, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, stressed that Ohanaeze is prepared to go the full length with Peter Obi in his quest to retrieve the mandate freely given to him by Nigerians at the polls. According to him, Nigerians from across the country believed in the LP candidate’s message and mantra that a new Nigeria is possible, hence, their overwhelming support for the Obi-Datti ticket. He applauded citizens for coming out to vote massively for the Labour Party candidate despite the intimidation and harassment.
“I’m happy Nigeria is moving away from political apathy to a participant political culture. It is a plus because in the third world, Political participation has been a problem and you could see that they participated actively. They couldn’t be suppressed or intimidated. They rather defied all the threats from all the external forces and came even under sunshine and rain. They stood strongly and expressed their wish through their votes. We were impressed because in the past, they did not have confidence in the electoral system and to that extent, there is this political apathy. But they came out fully and voted,” he stated.
Dr Ogbonnia highlighted that Peter Obi is a meticulous person whose personal conviction might not be called to question, indicating that the former Anambra State governor would emerge victorious at the end of the day. According to him: “I have confidence in that because when he was deprived of his victory sometime in Anambra State, he struggled and assured people that he would recover it. Later on, he recovered that mandate. The same way, it is like history repeating itself.
“Anybody who has known Peter Obi will know that he is always sure of whatever he is doing. He is conscious of whatever position or decision he is taking. He is not a man of frivolities or a man who takes decisions anyhow. He takes a thorough review of his decisions before making it public.”