The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) USA has implored the US government to withhold recognition of President-elect, Bola Tinubu, until all ongoing litigations are adjudicated upon.
In a communiqué issued at the end of its Extraordinary Summit in Washington, DC, entitled, “The Washington Declaration” and signed by its Executive Director, Lloyd F. Ukwu, the group noted that disputes and legitimacy issues are trailing the winner of the February 25 poll and that the matter had been dragged before the judiciary by dissatisfied candidates and parties, reports Daily Sun.
It said the Supreme Court is the highest court and final arbiter of the law in Nigeria and that the US should not rush to embrace the declared winner of the election without allowing the apex court validate the process.
It also flayed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for brazenly violating the Electoral Act of 2022 and its own guidelines, as well as lying to the Nigerian people when it promised to transmit the election results from the polling units to the servers in real-time, but failed to do so.
The group called on the federal government to immediately remove the present Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu and for security agencies to arrest, interrogate and prosecute him and all the INEC officials found to have been complicit in the alleged fraud that subsequent disputes that have trailed the polls.
NADECO also demanded that the presidential election petition tribunal’s proceedings be broadcast live given the global interest, import, and importance of the elections. It also commended the commencement of the tribunal hearings where all parties have pledged to expedite the process.
It said: “The Supreme Court of Nigeria and the Election Tribunals must expeditiously and transparently consider election challenges, and in the case of the Presidency, if no final determination is reached on the results of the February 2023 election before the scheduled May 29, 2023 inauguration, then the Constitution must be followed, which provides for the Senate President to be installed as the acting President for three months to chart a legal transition of power in Nigeria…
“The United States government should withhold any recognition of an incoming Nigerian government until the Supreme Court has thoroughly and transparently examined the 2023 election process and ruled definitively on the results of the 2023 elections in the same manner as the U.S. Government did with the 2022 elections in Kenya; utilize all credible evidence to impose Magnitsky Act sanctions at the earliest possible time frame to punish all those found to have impeded or subverted the 2023 election process exercising all available sanctions on such individuals. NADECO calls on the US Congress to introduce a bipartisan non-binding bill in the US Congress urging the Biden administration to withhold the recognition of the President-elect until the election matters in court have received a finality.”
“That discontent and rejection of electoral process by Nigerians at home and abroad, the Nigeria Supreme Court is urged to rely on the “political question doctrine” to restrain itself from the polarizing nature of its decision regarding the 2023 Presidential Elections, and order INEC to conduct a fresh election which complies with the requirement of the Nigerian Constitution, the 2022 Electoral Act as amended, and INEC’s own guidelines. As part of its order , the Supreme Court may include provisions for the proper assistance to INEC, including from competent foreign agencies and the Nigerian Bar Association, so as to guarantee free and fair elections.”
NADECO urged the US government to utilize the Gen. Sani Abacha loot currently in asset forfeiture proceedings in US District Court to compensate victims of election violence in Nigeria, and to disclose and release all available records pertaining to the APC presidential candidate which are now at issue in the election petitions, to the courts for adjudication.