PEPT’s DECISION ON QUALIFICATION FOR ELECTION IS MISLEADING AND MALICIOUS- SAYS HURIWA

EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO'S COLUMN GENERAL NEWS

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) is more or less horrified but altogether not shocked or disappointed with the outcome of the long running political litigation before the presidential election tribunal in Abuja that was filled by the former vice president of the federal Republic of Nigeria Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic party against the incumbent president of the All Progressives Congress Major General Muhammadu Buhari as he then was.

We are not surprised that the presidential election tribunal has wrongly confirmed the overwhelming perception of most critical minded Nigerians that nothing good will ever come from the current contraption we call the Nigerian judicial system. The Nigerian judicial system as it is currently constituted is dysfunctional, is compromised, is tainted politically, is populated and driven physically by the people with wrong mindset who are not patriotic, who are not committed to the real essence of justice as it should be.  It looks like the members of this presidential election petition tribunal have displayed the highest character of haters of justice, they are not nationalists, they are not statesmen, and they are not patriotic. The hierarchical structure of both the Court of Appeal that produced the panelists and the Supreme court of Nigeria is pre-arranged and pre-established to service the litigation interests of All Progressives Congress as it concerns the 2019 election that remains substantially manipulated and the real results stolen and diverted by the compromised Independent National Electoral and awarded to the incumbent President. History will inevitably be unkind to the current heads of the hierarchical structures of INEC; Court of Appeal and even the Supreme Court of Nigeria which is choreographed already to validate the illegality and the fraud that has happened today as the verdict of the PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION PETITION TRIBUNAL (PEPT) in Abuja. The President of the Court of Appeal who is married to a Senator produced in this disputed election by APC has to resign. The Chief justice of Nigeria should resign so these Court systems can be reorganized so the judiciary can begin a recovery process since this current administration has mortgaged the conscience of the judiciary by illegally removing the former Chief justice of Nigeria using an exparte order obtained fraudulently. 

First and foremost, it is inconceivable that the judiciary would close her eyes to the fact that there is a lingering debate and argument strong enough to disqualify one of the candidates which is the exact WHEREABOUTS of the secondary school certificate. If the constitution says you need at least a (secondary) school certificate, what the constitution means is that the secondary school certificate is the minimum benchmark. The constitution should have said once you are educated you are qualified to run for political office of the president of the country. The constitution mentioned as a fact that if school certificate which is the general name for secondary school certificate and if that is the case, it means that the presidential election tribunal has done a very shameful job and generations to come will attach their names to such history of infamy.

Secondly, we are highly disappointed in the first instance by the dismissal of the application that was filled by the petitioner seeking to get the Supreme Court’s nod to compel INEC to allow the petitioners to supervise the server. INEC clearly told Nigerians that they have a server before the disputed poll why did the court not allow the petitioner to at least have access to the server? Which means The Supreme Court Have foreclosed the possibility of the petitioner getting justice From the court below, it is unfortunate Though it’s not shocking, it’s not disappointing. But I think this ruling which has definitely gone in favor of the incumbent president is not rational, Is not ethically correct, is not factually accurate, is jaundiced Is Something That is built on falsehood. Maybe we have to ask questions if these judges were subjected to some kind of pressure or some kind of threat from any quarters?  Because Nigerians don’t understand the reason why a clear case of “show us your certificate” was not resolved. So this is a very terrible case and is a case that is attempting to institutionalize lack of respect for competencies and merit. Knocking off these two key claims of the petitioner has rendered the remaining claims  mere academic exercise and it is a waste of time to watch as the panelists shamelessly go on to enact this episode of national shame and infamy. It is finished. 

If our Constitution which is supreme law is saying that for a person to run for a specific political office, the person must have been educated up to secondary school level and you the judges are here saying it doesn’t matter whether the person shows you his certificate it is a fallacy. The essence of certificate is a proof to make a claim credible otherwise everybody can just go to school without bothering to go back for the certificate.

Why you have a certificate is to show anybody or authority that you actually proceeded and you were educated in that kind of educational system. But for the PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION PETITION TRIBUNAL (PEPT)  to now say that the man whose qualification is been challenged by the petitioner has a military certificate he doesn’t need to show them a secondary school certificate is as good as saying if you managed to manipulate your way into the university admission process with a forged certificate and not detected and you go on to obtain a degree certificate and intends to run for election but doesn’t  want to be discovered for the initial forgery for instance this particular ruling completely has validated all the certificates that are being paraded by people who forged their secondary school certificates to proceed further to obtain higher qualifications especially if they seek to run for office of President or any elective office under the extant constitution. All that the person need to do is to tender any kind of certificates after verbally saying that you are educated up to school certificate or you produce some dubious photographic evidence of your attendance at a secondary school. If I may ask, which educational standardization body has validated the military certificates that are now adjudged higher than a school certificate which is our own secondary school system? That’s one of the implications of this judgment that May be people didn’t really understand. I think is quite unfortunate. This is the day the Court of Appeal has authorized people to simple make claims of possession of certificate from secondary school without displaying a valid copy. 

Even if Atiku is not so sure of getting justice at the Supreme Court, which we think he will not get, he needs to go further to test that angle concerning the certificate issue because it’s quiet important for Nigerians to know except if he decides to leave it like that, is going to be the law of the country. We think it has to be challenged one way or the other.”

Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko

NATIONAL COORDINATOR.

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