WHICH WAY NIGERIA? GLOOM AS TRIBUNAL REAFFIRMS TINUBU’S PYRRHIC VICTORY
Millions of Nigerians, yesterday, sank into gloom as the nation’s presidential election petition tribunal (PEPT) delivered its final judgment regarding the 2023 Presidential Elections.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu was affirmed winner in a rather odious judgment which saw the 5-man panel quash all petitions submitted by opposition parties. The judgment which upheld Tinubu as President amidst cases of certificate forgery, narcotics forfeiture, perjury, illegal dual citizenship, invalid nomination, and grand-scale electoral rigging, has been decried by many as judicial miscarriage, a daylight robbery of the masses, and an unabashed display of the influence of corruption over rule of law.
The Court invalidated the special status of the nation’s Federal Capital Territory, dismissed Tinubu’s drug case as inconsequential, absolved INEC of its legal commitment to transmit results electronically, and certified Kasim Shettima fit to hold double nomination as long as the APC party showed no complaints.
Justice Tsammani who had earlier promised against the use of technicalities in judgment, went on to strike out two-thirds of all cases on grounds of technicalities. The coherent and outspoken judge stuttered uncontrollably through the reading of the verdict, fuelling concerns from observers who perceived Tsammani as under duress.
Tinubu, who had joyfully received the news of his victory at the state house, was met with roaring backlash over his plea to Nigerians to “accept the verdict” and “not look back, but forward.”
Yesterday’s verdict coincides with Tinubu’s 100th day in office. 100 days after, the highly embattled leader struggles to impress a nation already rife with multidimensional hardship as a result of his recent ill-timed subsidy removal.
A recent poll pits Tinubu as the most unpopular Nigerian president since its return to Democracy. No thanks to an APC government which has managed to successfully set the nalton backwards by a decade due to politics of selfish interest, tribalism, and bloodthirsty violence.
Still, for many, the reality of a Tinubu presidency may never set in. Especially since it is the first to legitimize on a seismic scale, crime, corruption, and violence as a path to power.
As Africa continues to strive to put her house in order and shake off the destabilizing influence of Western neo-colonialism, Nigeria is almost certain to be left behind. The once-known giant of Africa is as docile as its current president.
With the electoral judgment now passed, many expect the opposition to elevate its case to the Supreme Court where the outcome will become a significant precedent potent enough to make or mar whatever justice is left of the Nigerian Constitution.
All eyes on the Supreme Court.