Former Anambra state governor Chukwuemeka Ezeife has expressed optimism that a court of competent jurisdiction will overturn the result announced by INEC chairman Prof. Yakubu Mahmoud, which pronounced Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Party, APC, the winner of Saturday’s presidential election in the country.
He said that all of the rigging platforms would be found out by the time the angry voters in Nigeria had gathered all of the facts and figures about the election process.
Ezeife talked to reporters about the electioneering exercise and its results, which INEC released. He said he was disappointed with how INEC officials and their materials handled the exercise, which fell short of what the people had hoped for.
Ezeife said, “we are disappointed with the entire process but all hopes are not yet lost because by the time we will assemble the facts and figures associated with the entire process, heads will roll and the stolen mandate will be recovered”.
Chief Ikenna Egbuna, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said, ” Don’t mind INEC and APC, we shall all meet them in court”.
In a phone interview yesterday, Egbuna said, “They think they are too clever to rig the election.”
In his response, Obiora Muojeke, a lawyer in Onitsha, Anambra state, called the whole thing a sham, a daylight robbery of Nigerians, and an abuse of the electoral process.
Muojeke told reporters at his law office in Onitsha yesterday that he didn’t understand how the results were made by hand instead of using the electronic devices that INEC had said they would use.
He said these wrongdoings could hurt the trust that the Nigerian voters and, by extension, the rest of the world have in INEC.
He advised the unsuccessful candidates to finish gathering evidence and submit it to the Election Petition Tribunal to resolve the matter.
He also said that the court was the last hope for the voters and that the petition should be heard quickly so that the case could be decided before the inauguration of a new president on May 29. He said this was to keep the situation from getting too heated, which could lead to unruly protests.
He told the voters to stay calm in the face of this unjustified provocation and wait to see what the court of competent jurisdiction says.
In the meantime, Human Rights Liberty Access and Peace Defenders Foundation, HURIDE, has asked for INEC Chairman Mahmoud to be arrested, investigated, and charged right away for breaking election laws during the presidential election.
In particular, HURIDE said that Mahmoud broke sections 63 and 64 of the electoral Act 2022, passed by the national assembly and signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari. These sections said electronic devices would be used in elections in the country.
Chairman of HURIDE, Dede Uzor A. Uzor, made the call in an interview with reporters yesterday in Onitsha. He said that BIVAS and IReV devices were recommended for the elections, but only BIVAS were used to register voters in last Saturday’s presidential election. IReV was not used to upload and send the results, likely because INEC and its partners wanted to help a certain candidate win.
“We are very much aware that the federal government doled out about N300 billion to INEC to acquire these electronic devices to conduct a credible election and international bodies like EU, AU and ECOWAS also doled out additional billions of dollars too and now INEC has disappointed both Nigerians and the international community”.
“Therefore, I call on EFCC and ICPC to arrest, probe and prosecute Mahmoud to find out how those monies were spent by INEC”.
” If the losses of the election wish to go to tribunal, they can go but personally, I don’t even have confidence in the Nigerian tribunal because they have been infected by the corruption virus”.
On getting ready for a peaceful protest. Dede Uzor said citizens have the right to do the same thing as long as the protest is peaceful and not taken over by thugs.
“As far as I am concerned, Tinubu does not have the mandate of Nigerians but that of Mahmoud who singlehandedly appointed him. His government is not a legitimate one since he does not have the mandate”.