2023 Elections: TAtiku, Obi, Head To  Court,   INEC,work On The BVAS, Ahead Of Governorship , State Assembly Elections

By Suleiman Umaru and Lateef Adegbite

This is not the best of times in Nigerian’s political history. Barely two weeks after the conduct of the just concluded Presidential elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, under the close watch of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, that saw the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, BAT, popular, Jagaban, a former governor of Lagos state governor, the duo of Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President and Presidential Candidate of the lead Opposition party, People’s Democratic Party, PDP and Peter Obi, a former governor o Anambra state and Labour party , LP, Flag bearer during the February 25, 2023, Presidential elections  have dragged Tinubu, the President –elect and the Electoral umpire to the Presidential Election Court .

Obi: LP, Presidentila Candidate, Heads To Court To Reclaim Mandate

Many believe that there was no basis for the duo, Atiku, and Obi, to head to the Presidential Election Court, because of the efforts being made by him in the recent time to make peace with them and carry them along  I the task of rebuilding the country. Obi, the LP Candidate, who could not hide his feelings had said  that ‘’if  peace  means allowing faulty foundation to stand without  challenging the process legally,  then that is a line he will not toe’, ’insisting that he is ‘’challenging the process’’. He has made Nigerians to understand that that ‘’it is the faulty foundation of the process that saw Tinubu, emerge at jst concluded Presidential election that is being by him and his party.

 Atiku   Candidate of Opposition PDP, said that much also when he lamented the   inability of the Commission to upload the results of the Presidential elections as promised on the Commission’s viewing portal, ReV,   claiming that it was done ostensibly to rig the elections in favour of the APC Candidate in order to be Nigerian’s next President after the expiration of Buhari’s tenure on May 29, 2023.

Recall that in setting  up the Tribunal a in appointing the Judges to resolve  the disputes  that may arise from the Febebruary 25, 2023, Presidential elections, Justice  Olukayode Ariwola, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, had made the Judges to understand  that ‘’the task  of adjudicating  electoral  disputes  is not  an undertaking  to be handled with levity’’.

Justice Ariwola: CJN

The CJN, was said to have admonished the Judges ‘’to discharge these onerous responsibilities with honesty, integrity and transparency’’.  He was said to have also asked them to do what is right in the country’s Law books and the Oath that has just been administered on them.

The CJN, may have unbarred his mind to the Election Tribunal Judges when he said that he will not condone any act of’’ recklessness, abuse of power and public trust’’.  This may have given Atiku, the PDPD, Flag bearer and Obi, his Counterpart, in the LP, to head to the Presidential Election Tribunal. 

The two aggrieved, PDP and LP, Presidential Candidates may have also been encouraged to head to the Tribunal because President Muhammadu Buhari, had advised the losers in the elections to Tinubu, the APC, flag bearer, and who can prove  the fraud , they claimed was committed  against hem  during the elections, to bring forward the evidence  and please head to Court  and not taking the elections issues to the streets or making inflammatory statements that will inflame  and put the people on the alarm’s way

 The Katsina state born Nigerian President who could hide his feelings  had said that doing so will not be in ‘’the interest of the interest of Nigerians  but only ‘’ to achieve their personal and selfish interest ,urging them ‘’ to follow the matter legally’’.

   Indeed, Obi, the LP, Candidate may have cued into the Nigerian President’s advice as he has told his supporters , the Obidients,’’ to be calm and peaceful’’ as he is going ahead with his plan  to challenge the process that produced the APC Candidate as the winner of the just concluded Presidential elections.

The former Anambra state governor who was of the opinion that the LP, with him as the flag bearer, was the actual winner of the Presidential polls had said that he will ‘’reclaim the mandate freely given to him by Nigerians trough the Court process’’.

 He has said to have  made it clear to those that cares to listen  that the conduct of the February 25, 2023, Presidential elections, collation and announcement of results by  Prof,  Yakubu, the INEC, Chairman, was fraught with fraud , noting that ‘’this cannot happen  anywhere  in the world’’.

 He was emphatic that  ‘’it was the faulty foundation  that saw, Tinubu, the former Lagos state governor emerge as the winner of the elections currently being challenged in the Presidential elections Court. The LP, Candidate , who believes  he won the February 25, 2023, Presidential elections  based on the facts and figures , obtained  from the party agents at the polling units, Wards , Local governments and state levels, was may have approached the Court  in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to allow him  inspect  the materials  used for the elections.

Atiku: PDP, Presidential Candidate, Says BVAS Compromised

 He may have also been joined by his PDP, counterpart, Atiku, in approaching the Presidential Election Court, seeking to be allowed to inspect the materials used during the elections. The recent release of the comprehensive  result  of the National Assembly election  conducted  in Rivers state penultimate, in which the PDP, won the three Senatorial Seats and 11, House of Representatives Seat, leaving out only one House of Representatives each for the APC and  LP, may have strengthened the resolve of the PDP, Candidate, to fight the legal battle too upturn the Tinubu ‘s election to the end.  

Given the mandate to the PEC, by Justice  Ariwola, the CJN, to handle all petitions emanating from the conduct of  the February 25, 2023, elections, may have informed  why the Court granted the duo petition  ‘’to inspect  the election materials deployed during the Saturday’s Presidential elections.

 The duo were said to have urged   Justice the  Joseph  Ikyegh, led panel , which will also  sit  as the Presidential Election Petition  Tribunal,  ‘’to compel the Electoral umpire  to allow them to obtain  documents  in its custody  that were used  for the  Presidential election.

They were said to have asked the Court to compel the Commission to release the documents in its custody used for the elections as it would aid their petition against the outcome of the Presidential election, that was declared in favour of Tinubu, of the APC, candidate.

Tinubu, who has been declared President-elect and issued Certificate of return by the Commission may have gladdened the heart of his followers that there was no course to worry as the election would not be upturned by the Court as he has all the evidence to show that he won the election , clean and clear.

Festus Keyamo, Director , Public Relations, Tinubu/Shettima, Presidential Organisation, may have spoken  the mind of the President –elect when he sent a message to the duo, Obi and Atiku, challenging the President -elect that’’ they will  meet in Court, anywhere, anytime’’.

Bayo Onanuga,  Director  of Media and publicity  of the APC, Presidential Campaign Council, PCC, may have sent a message to Obi  of the LP and Atiku, flag bearer of the PDP, that they should not celebrate  that the PEC, has given them the go- ahead to inspect the electoral materials  used during the elections  as the President-elect  will only engage them in Court  , only if they have concrete  evidence  to prove that the election that saw his emergence as the winner of the election  was rigged and why it should have been  either of them that should have  been declared the winner of the elections by  Prof. Yakubu, the country’s Chief Electoral Officer.

 Not that Obi , the LP, Candidate, had claimed   that he was robbed of the mandate, freely given to him by Nigerians  by Tinubu, the APC , Candidate, in Collaboration with INEC officials jut as Atiku of the PDP,   also claimed, he won the Saturday, February 25, 2023, Presidential election. According to close Associates, the PDP Candidate is not concerned about INEC, declaring him the winner of the Presidential election but to cancel the entire election process and reschedule it.

INEC, Compromised BVAS Being Reworked For Use In The Upcoming Governorship And States Assembly Election

Aware of the troubles encountered in the conduct of the Presidential election due to the inability f the Commission to effectively use the BVAS,  may have informed why the INEC boss, who is not ready to take any criticisms any longer  has given his words to Nigerians who are disenchanted  in coming out to vote as it will not count that the BVSA technology  will be used in forthcoming  governorship  and state Assembly elections. This is an indications that it was not deployed during the Presidential elections.

He was very categorical in his Statement that  BVAS, will be used for the governorship and state Assembly elections. He had said that  that the devices  are being worked  on to avoid  a repeat  of  the hitches  recorded  in the  last Presidential election, across the country.

Perhaps to ensure the adhoc are not compromised as experienced during the Presidential election may have encouraged him to  have directed  the Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, to ensure  that the adhoc staff  be made ‘’to undergo  refresher training  ahead  of the governorship and state Assembly elections. The refresher training , going by the directive of the INEC, Chairman,  are being conducted for the adhoc staff  who were said to have participated in the conduct of the February 2, 2023, Presidential elections.  

The INEC helms man, was said to have also ordered the RECs, to ensure that the adhoc staff are ‘’properly trained so that the processes are not delayed   or compromised at any stage of the elections. He  may have giving hope to the over 93 million  registered voters  by urging the RECs to ensure that stafffound to be negligent  in the conduct  of the Last Presidential and National Assembly elections were dismissed

. His recent actions to restore people’s confidence on the Commission to conduct of elections may be hard as their enthusiasm have died down because of what happened during the last  Presidential elections where the election was manipulated and votes manufactured by INEC, making nonsense of the electorates vote. The impression among the generality of Nigerians is that even if they turn out to vote, it is the person that INEC and power brokers , both within and outside the government that will still win in their respective states.      

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