Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has stated that the Supreme Court’s judgment in the presidential election case on Thursday has all but ended any contest, but that it is not ideal for the judiciary to decide winners of elections.
In an interview with Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday, Falana insisted that determining the winners of an election is the exclusive responsibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) if things are done properly.
“The judgment of the Supreme Court undoubtedly concluded the electoral contestation in the presidential election conducted in February of this year, but it is not a judicial endorsement of the conduct of the election by INEC.
“What I mean is that even with the judgment, it is clear that Nigeria has a long way to go to ensure that credible, acrimony-free elections are held that we can all be proud of. But we are still a long way from that, even with the judgment.”
He added that, “Yes, for now, the presidential election is over. It should have been concluded in February, but the Supreme Court has just concluded it, and it should not be this way. The judiciary should not decide the winners of elections.
“Judges are not equipped to decide the winners of elections. That is a job that is the exclusive reserve of INEC if things are done properly. That is why we must put an end to the disgrace that our election law has become.
“Nigeria must always remember 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 around the world are not insulted.
“If the political class is honest and dedicated to conducting transparent elections, it does not take much to conduct a good election,” he said.
Recall that the apex court on Thursday upheld the election of President Bola Tinubu and dismissed the appeals of the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, in its ruling on Thursday.
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 lacked merit.