The Bizarre Election Petition Tribunal's Ruling on Jega!
The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has noted with unmistakable sadness the un-interrupted descent of the Nation's Judiciary to the Abyss. The Trajectory of the conduct of the on-going Presidential Election Petition after the illegal removal of the
President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, further reinforces the belief that this may just have been a decided charade.
The Tribunal had earlier given a subpoena order for the Chairman of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, to appear before it on Tuesday, 20 th September, 2011 at 9am. Among the Nineteen documents expected from the INEC Chairman with his Court appearance are:
1. National Biometric Data Bank containing the National Register of Voters;
2.A Certified True Copy of the Independent National Electoral Commission Manual used in the conduct of the General Election of 2011;
3.Certified True Copy (Hard Copy ) and electronic copy of voters register used in the presidential election evidencing accreditation of the registered voters in all polling units of the Federation;
4.Certified True Copies of all Forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C, EC8D and EC8E used for the conduct of the Presidential Elections held on the 16 th April, 2011 evidencing the returns of the result declared at the Polling Units, Wards, Local Government Areas, State and Federal Constituency declaration respectively.
5.Certified True Copy of List of Accredited Local & International Observers for the purpose of the monitoring the presidential elections held on the 16 th April, 2011.
6.Certified List of Local Contractors (Indigenous) engaged by INEC (1 st Respondent) to print ballot papers used in the presidential elections and copies of contract papers executed by INEC evidencing the award of contracts to them.
7.A Certified True Copy of the Tabulation of ballot papers distribution evidencing the serial numbers of the ballot papers shared across the country on polling units, Wards, Local Government Areas and States basis including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
8.Certified True Copy of delineation of Poling Units by their Codes on the basis of States, Constituencies, Local Government Areas, Wards, and Polling Units.
9.Excel application used in computer summation of the result for Presidential Election used across the Nation in the Presidential Election.
10.Down Loaded result declared by the 1 st Respondent (INEC) for the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja held on the 16 th April, 2011.
11.Original Copy of letter to the Chairman of the 1 st Respondent (INEC) from the Congress of Progressive Change dated 30 th March, 2011;
12.Original Copy of Letter dated 18 th April, 2011 by the Congress for Progressive Change to the Chairman of the 1 st Respondent (INEC).
Subsequently, the INEC counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN brought an application seeking a variation of the order; invariably seeking appearance of the INEC Chairman without any of the aforementioned documents. The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) opposed the application.
In a bizarre twist and unwarranted volte face, the Tribunal unconventionally jumped into the arena and ruled that the Subpoena be dismissed, a relief that the Tribunal magnanimously gifted to the applicant. The dismissal of the Subpoena (which was unanimously assented to by all the Tribunal Justices) was not sought by the applicant but ordered as part of the orchestrated arrangement not to give Nigerians the opportunity to scrutinize the integrity of the April 16, 2011 Presidential Elections. Undoubtedly, the Tribunal has lent its weight in assisting the leadership of INEC to cover its perfidious conduct with subterfuge.
Indeed, as a Party, we are not under the illusion that this crop of players in the Judiciary, with entrenched 'cash and carry' culture, can do Justice. However, as an article of faith to the Nigerian People, we shall continue to 'hang in' there; using the instrumentality of the Law to expose the banality of our Justice system. We shall continue to hold our heads high in the hope that these current retroactive elements in the Judiciary shall soon fade away. This, too, shall pass!
God bless Nigeria.
Rotimi Fashakin (Engr.)
National Publicity Secretary, CPC.
(Wednesday , 28 th September, 2011)