The recent ruling by the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Nigeria has raised concerns about the fairness and integrity of presidential elections in the country, according to Olu Fasan. The article highlights two key observations: first, that the judges appeared to have a predetermined outcome favoring the incumbent president and used procedural technicalities to dismiss evidence presented by the petitioners, and second, that the judges’ words and tone displayed bias.
Fasan delves into specific issues discussed in the verdict, including the status of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the interpretation of “equality of the weight and value of votes,” and the treatment of non-conviction-based forfeiture of assets. He argues that some of the court’s interpretations are flawed and inconsistent.
The article also criticizes the stringent evidential burden placed on petitioners in presidential election cases, making it nearly impossible to gather necessary facts and witnesses within the mandated 21-day period.
Furthermore, the PEPC ruling allows the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disregard its own commitments to transmit election results electronically, which raises concerns about the credibility of future elections.
Fasan concludes by warning that unless the Supreme Court reverses the PEPC’s judgment, Nigeria may continue to face controversial presidential elections that could jeopardize the country’s democratic future.
Overall, the article raises important questions about the Nigerian electoral process and the role of the judiciary in ensuring fairness and transparency in presidential elections.