Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
A coalition of 30 political parties in Sokoto have rejected the tribunal judgment that affirmed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, as the duly elected governor of the state.
Chairman of the coalition, Alhaji Mujitaba Aminu, in a statement described the verdict as miscarriage of justice. He also noted that the verdict appeared to recommend a return to the rule of the jungle, where might will always be right.
He noted with dismay that the tribunal action seems to have justified that “every politician must seek to win an election by fair or foul means.”
According to the statement: “Our concern and grave fear are borne, not so much by the content of the judgment (that is a matter for legal luminaries to reflect and comment on) but by the petrifying precedence, it is set for our collective political future.
“What this verdict seems to say is that from now on, every politician must seek to win an election, by fair or foul means. By hook or by crook.
“The above explanation is the only interpretation one can give to a judgment which condones the violence and terror deployed by the PDP during the last governorship election.
“Developments like this, where elections are decided not by universal suffrage of free votes, voluntarily cast by the electorate, but by coercion, terror and bribery, portends very grave danger for our democracy.
“The verdict appears to recommend a return to the rule of the jungle, where might will always be right.
“Another painful and negatively unique occurrence, which to the best of our knowledge is unknown in Nigeria’s judicial history, is that the court’s verdict had already become public knowledge, several hours before the judge pronounced it in the courtroom.
“Every indigene of Sokoto State was surprised to see electronic and print media houses carrying the court’s judgment, even while the complainants and the defendants were sitting before the tribunal, nervously waiting for the verdict.
“This is a strong indication that the judgment had already been compromised, leaked and released to some chosen media outfits, while the court engaged in, what one can call a grand deception.