By Rasheed Sobowale
Nigerian Lawyer and human rights activist, Mike Agbedor Abu Ozekhome, SAN, said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has failed the nation.
Ozekhome in a press statement made available to the media was reacting to the recent verdict by the Supreme Court that Emeka Ihedioha should vacate the office of Imo Governor as Hope Uzondima is the rightful winner of the governorship election.
Expressing his concern at the Supreme Court’s verdict, Ozekhome stated that the emergence of a fourth-placed candidate as the winner of an election requires critical analysis and interrogation.
“One area that needs critical analysis and interrogation is what makes a candidate that came 4th in an election to be declared the winner of that election.”
Ozekhome while acknowledging the supremacy of the Supreme Court judgement said; “The Supreme Court is the final court of the land. That is why it is called the apex court.
“Once it settles a dispute, it becomes final for all times.
“Anyone who is disappointed or dissatisfied can only appeal to God Almighty.”
He noted there wouldn’t have been a need for consequent intervention of the judiciary in deciding the final outcome of an election.
“If INEC got its acts right, the Judiciary’s frequent interventions would have been greatly minimised.”
“Today, INEC is neither independent, impartial, nor well equipped to count the electorate’s votes and also allow such votes to count.
“That is the sorry state we are in today, especially since 2015.”
Clarifying why he could comment on a ruling by the Apex Court, Ozekhome, he said; “There is ordinarily a presumption by the society that the Supreme Court, being the final court of the land, is supposed to be right in its decisions, after rigorous and painstaking perusal of cases brought before it between feuding parties.
“However, the next stage is for legal pundits, analysts and academicians, to dissect the judgement thoroughly, to decipher if it met the justice of the case, having regard to the available facts.”
He, however, noted he did not have the required facts since he was not one of the counsels in the appeal.
“After all, the law is but a handmaid instituted by man to deliver justice. The two are Siamese twins. One without the other is bare and vacuous,” Ozekhome said.