S'COURT VERDICT: BUHARI FAULTS JUDGMENT
Former Military Head of State and presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), General Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the Supreme Court's verdict which confirmed President Goodluck Jonathan's election.
He said, this was not the first time the court has done such to him.
Buhari, in a statement made available to the journalists, stated that the apex court's rejection of his party's appeal against a lower court decision was politically motivated. He alleged that the results of the election being upheld were rigged.
'As in 2003 and 2007, the Supreme Court yesterday rejected CPC's appeal against the lower court verdict that the rigged presidential election of 16th April, 2011 was properly conducted. All who witnessed the conduct of the 2011 elections would know that this decision of the Supreme Court is politically motivated and has little judicial content.
'This Supreme Court has proved no better than the Supreme Courts of 2003 and 2007. For the records, let me refresh the public memory about what happened in the litigations after the 2003 and 2007 rigged elections. In 2003 we presented a cast iron case before the Court of Appeal citing several major infringements of the Electoral Act 2002. In particular we subpoenaed INEC to furnish the court with proof of the 'result' they declared. They did not, because they could not. The court still declared the result as valid. Worse still, the Supreme Court upheld this dubious ruling of a dubious election.
'In 2007, I and my Party, the ANPP produced copious proof that the presidential election was rigged in the most blatant fashion. For one, ballot papers were distributed to polling stations on blank sheets of paper, making it impossible to carry out an audit trail.
'Secondly, during the process of tallying the result, the egregious Professor Maurice Iwu, then Chairman of INEC excused himself from the collation venue (after only 11 states and Abuja of the 36 states were tabulated) and announced the 'result.'
'At the time he made this announcement, voting materials had not even fully arrived in some states. Yet on appeal, the Justice Idris Kutigi Supreme Court after a long adjournment, declared the election valid, with three justices dissenting.
In both elections, local and international observers condemned the elections in no uncertain terms,' Buhari stated.
According to him, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has not been able to conduct a free and fair election in spite of the large amount of money spent on 2011 elections.
He alleged that 2011 elections was the worst in Nigeria history because, according to him, it contained more rigging and forgery than has ever been seen in any of the preceding elections.
'What happened in this year's elections eclipsed all the other elections in the depth and scope of forgery and rigging. Initially there were high hopes that after 2003 and 2007 a semblance of electoral propriety would be witnessed. The new chairman of INEC, Professor Jega, was touted as competent and a man of integrity. He has proved neither.
'After asking for – and getting close to N100 billion for the election including biometric data with all ten finger prints to conduct a thorough electoral exercise, he botched it. When our Party CPC demanded forensic material, finger printed ballot papers to prove colossal and widespread multiple voting throughout the country rendering the election invalid in at least 25 out of the 36 states of the federation, INEC refused to provide them in court, citing national security,' he said.
'The country now has to live with the consequences of the actions of PDP government in collaboration with INEC, police and security services over the last 10 years,' Buhari stated.
While lamenting the state of the nation, the former presidential aspirant blamed the ruling party for the violence in the country.
'A country on the brink of developing into the major continental power in 1999 is now a fractured society, corruption everywhere, violence everywhere, a sense of helplessness and hopelessness nearly everywhere. While the country is sliding into this chaotic state, governments at the centre and in the states are engaged in massive and mindless plunder of the country's resources in total disregard of the suffering masses.
'The country is now in an emergency situation. Law and order can break down at any time. Those in charge of the country should be warned that promises and sweet words are no substitute for practical action,' he said.