•Femi Falana and Mahmoud Yakubu
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, says that Thursday’s judgment of the Supreme Court in the presidential election case has all but ended any contest, but maintained that it is not ideal for the judiciary to decide winners of elections.
Falana, who was a guest on Channels Television yesterday, insisted that determining winners of election is an exclusive reserve of the Independent National Electoral Commission if things are done the way they should be done.
“No doubt the judgment of the Supreme Court ascended the electoral contestation as far as the presidential election conducted in February this year is concerned, but for sure it is not a judicial endorsement of the conduct of the election by INEC.
“And what I mean is that even with the judgment, it is very clear that Nigeria has a long way to go in terms of ensuring that credible elections are conducted, elections that will be devoid of acrimony, elections that all of us will be proud of, but we are still a long way from there even with the judgment.
“Yes for now the presidential election is concluded, it should have been concluded in February, but it has just been concluded by the Supreme Court and it should not be so. The judiciary should not determine the winners of elections.
“Judges are not suited to determine the winners of election; that is a job that is the exclusive reserve of INEC if things are done properly and that is why we must put an end to the shame that has become our law in terms of conducting elections,” Falana said.
The Senior Advocate said that Nigeria must realise at all times that it has the largest concentration of black people on earth and therefore has a greater responsibility to put its house in order so that black people will not be insulted all over the world.
He said it doesn’t take much to conduct a good election if the political class are honest and dedicated in the conduct of transparent elections.
The apex court in its ruling on Thursday, upheld the election of President Bola Tinubu and dismissed the appeals by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar; and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Peter Obi.
A seven-judge panel led by Justice John Okoro ruled that the opposition appeals over claims of fraud, electoral law violations, and Tinubu’s ineligibility to run for President lack merit.