MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
A former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, on Sunday, described the outcome of the presidential election held on February 25 as rape and murder of democracy by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
While commending the Supreme Court for overriding President Muhammadu Buhari on the legality and validity of the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes, he warned Judiciary, never again to “sell justice to the highest bidder”, as litigants square up to challenge the outcome of the general election.
“They (Judiciary) must redeem their image by ensuring that justice is done and seen to be done to the election petition cases now being brought before it”, the activist said.
Frank in a statement in Abuja, also called on the judiciary to leverage the same patriotic courage it demonstrated in reversing the ban on old Naira notes in dispensing substantial justice in the several election petition cases to be brought before them soon.
“Nigerians are heartbroken, agitated, angry and frustrated because INEC raped and murdered democracy in the country on February 25, 2023”, the activist said.
He lamented that some of the rulings emanating from the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court in recent times brought shame to the entire country.
“Some of the decisions of the Supreme Court in recent times have made Nigerians to lose hope in the judiciary especially the one that awarded Senatorial tickets to Godswill Akpabio and Ahmad Lawan who never participated in senatorial primary in their respective constituencies.
“How can Senator Godswill Akpabio and Senate President Ahmad Lawan be made candidates overnight by the apex court and today they claim to have been elected as Senators?”, the activist queried.
The former deputy spokesman of APC who is the Ambassador to
United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in East Africa and Middle East, reminded the Judiciary that Nigerians have since lost hope on them as they believe they already know how the courts will rule on the various post election cases to be filed before them.
He called on the judiciary especially the Supreme Court to rise up from its ashes of partisanship and servile disposition to the APC and seize the opportunity by the present political conundrum to reset its image and do the needful courageously.
The irredentist urged the Judiciary to note that even the National Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, admitted that issues of logistics, election technology (BVAS), the behaviour of some election personnel at different levels, marred the presidential and National Assembly elections.
According to him, this was a clear indication that INEC failed woefully in its duty to deliver credible elections nor use the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to conduct the elections in line with its guidelines.
He said, “This is the justice that Nigerians are asking for. INEC has failed and we urge the judiciary to so hold that INEC violated its own guidelines and did not comply with the Electoral Act and its guidelines.”
Timi insisted that the present case was unique in the sense that Nigerians have continued to cry out that their votes have been stolen and their mandate denied.
He said, “Both international and local observers have agreed with them that the election was marred by massive irregularities and rigging. They equally berated and scored INEC low for not adhering to the law and its own guidelines.
“It is equally obvious that INEC failed to follow its guidelines and promise to transmit election results from the polling units to its server in real time.
“All over Nigeria, evidence abound in video, audio and hard copy formats showing how the results of the elections were falsified to favour the ruling APC.
“We believe that Nigerian Judges and Justices of the Appeal and Supreme Courts were in this country when the Presidential and National Assembly Election was conducted.
“Besides, we believe that Nigerian Judges and Justices read newspapers and listen to news on radio and television, therefore, they cannot claim to be unaware of Electoral heist that was perpetrated during the last election.
“It now behoves on the judiciary to review the facts that would be presented before them by aggrieved political parties, sift them to determine the truth and rule to uphold Justice, stability, peace and democracy in the country.
“Now that the cases will be coming before them, Nigerians are hopeful that they will use the same patriotic courage to rule in favour of the over 30 million Nigerians who voted during the last election in order to make their votes count.
“We saw how the Judiciary in Kenya rose up and sided with the yearnings and aspirations of the people when it annulled a rigged presidential election and ordered for a fresh one.
“We are calling on the Nigerian Judiciary to equally be courageous enough to declare the actual winners of the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections as duly elected.