As Nigerians and indeed the global democracy await the Justices as they prepare to bring out their legal decisions on the February 25, 2023 presidential election, there has been too much talk about runoff. The strong point is on canceling the election for non-compliance and ordering a rerun is likely.
Those holding this stand believe that the Justices will rely on what the law says about non-compliance and order that the election be canceled. Even the legal counsel of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu led by Wole Olanipekun, SAN, in their submission believes that a rerun could be possible and they are already trying to choose who else to run with not the Labour Party presidential standard-bearer, Peter Obi.
All followers of the political events from the electioneering days to date understand why nobody should want Obi as an opponent. The hurricane nature of the OBIdent support is just too much for them to handle.
But the essence of this discourse is to ask Nigeria through the Judiciary, why should they be settling for a rerun when all of us know who won the election? We are hard hit by the economic situation in our country but we are talking of re-conducting an election that the winner is well known just to waste the available thin resources.
Why are we pretending that we do not know who really was the choice of the majority of voters in the February 25, 2025 presidential election? At the election petition court, it was proved substantially that 18,0888 blurred results on IREV, implying that the results of 2,565,269 accredited voters were not accounted for, while the number of PVCs collected in the affected polling units is 9,165,191.
That the total number of polling unit results that were inaccessible on IREV amounted to 39,546. These inaccessible results ensured that 5,532,553 accredited voters’ results have not been accounted for either. In these polling units, a total of 23,119,298 voters collected their PVCs.
And in both instances going by the margin of lead principle the #PVCs collected far exceeds the lead over LP (2,693,193) or PDP (1,807,206). Therefore, the declared winner could not have been.
And going further the number of accredited voters in both instances above also exceeds the margin of lead after application of over-voting scores which is now 2,317,129 in the case of LP. Since Judiciary can do plus and minus after implying what the law says, as they did in the case of Hope Uzodinma of the Imo state, why won’t they save the country time and resources and do some arithmetic and declare the winner?
If the essence of the Judiciary as the third arm of the government is to ensure that justice thrives, why wouldn’t they look at the case holistically and dispassionately and do justice by declaring the person who Nigerians want? In doing that they will be achieving so many things. It would discourage election rigging in the future, it would save costs, and will properly assert the judiciary as a critical arm of government. In the end, democracy would have been delivered on a solid foundation and the rebuilding of a new Nigeria would have begun on a promising and sound note.
And personally, the Justices would have freed their conscience and unburdened themselves and their families of any wrong and unpopular judgment and its far-reaching consequences.
I have refused to call names so as not to be misconstrued and defeat the meat of this discussion. Nigeria should learn to take the bull by the horn and stand firm. All the threat of heaven will fall if the right thing is done is just unsupported by facts and insubstantial. In fact, what is likely to happen is that if justice is denied, the country may be heading for a major political setback, unprecedented in our history.
Every bad or good history starts one day. If President Bola Tinubu is thrown out for rigging the election, it would send a strong signal to all future election manipulators that something new and positive has begun. To allow evil to thrive because it has not been happening is to allow our country to continue to stagnate because we have chosen not to move forward.
All that is required to achieve this is for the Judiciary from the Court of Appeal to the Supreme to decide to halt the drift; for them to be courageous to follow their conscience and what the law says.
Some operatives might be in the background harassing and intimidating them using all gimmicks but the Justices should look at the consequences of evil decisions on them, their children, and indeed their nation and weigh it alongside the heroism and valiance that accompany good judicial decisions.
Therefore, if we are all in agreement that the voice of the people is the voice of God, we should also know that the cries and lamentations of Nigerian voters after the February 25 2023 presidential election cannot be in vain. Somebody more powerful than the president, more powerful than security agents, the omnipresent and omnipotence is listening and watching us, the man who gave us salvation is watching and he sees all the underhand activities.
Nigeria Judiciary I appeal to you to use your position well now and take the glory which my Northern brother Prof Mahmud Yakubu has squandered.
Musa Salah Mohamad wrote from Abuja