Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of allegedly using the judiciary to upturn election results in their own favour.
PDP Publicity Secretary, Chris Nehikhare, made the allegation during a protest, in Benin, against the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Imo State governorship election where Hope Uzodinma, was declared winner.
Nehikhare said the protest was aimed at reinforcing the previous protests nationwide which rejected the Supreme Court’s unjustifiable ruling as well as highlighting the need and exigency of signing the Electoral Law Amendment, which will substantially eliminate electoral malpractices in Nigeria.
He said the Imo State ruling is a clear misuse of judicial authority and a usurpation of the statutory duties of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The PDP scribe also accused the judiciary of becoming a rubber stamp of the executive to the extent that Nigerians now openly challenge the supremacy of the Supreme Court as the final arbiter of legal entanglements, and this is a recipe for anarchy if unchecked.
He said to put the judiciary and the body responsible for election in the country on check, the president should assent to the amended bill.
“That based on the extant amendments to the Electoral Law of 2015, Nigerians and Edo People are generally in agreement that when effected, the amended electoral law will ensure free and fair elections across the country, and therefore resolved to call on the president to sign into law the amended act, and avail Nigerians their universal adult suffrage as guaranteed by the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights,” he said.
Meanwhile, the party has called on President Buhari to sign the 2015 Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law before the Edo governorship election, scheduled for August.
Nehikhare made the call at a news conference in Benin, yesterday.
Nehikhare noted that based on extant amendments to the electoral law of 2015, Nigerians and Edo people in particular were in agreement that when effected, the law would ensure free and fair elections nationwide.
“We believe only the people should be empowered to elect their leaders.
“Legalising the card reader will eliminate absurd judgments where votes recorded surpass number of accredited voters and then the law will turn a blind eye to this obvious anomaly.”
The publicity secretary lamented that the outcome of stand-alone and general election in Nigeria had remained dangerous and worrisome.
He argued that in spite of efforts being made by civil society, electoral monitors and political parties to ensure free and fair elections, there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel.
The spokesman warned that the judiciary should not allow itself to become a rubber stamp of the executive for democracy to thrive in the country.
“The Imo State ruling is a clear misuse of judicial authority and a usurpation of the statutory duties of INEC.