By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, Wednesday, asserted that lack of electoral integrity and absence of internal democracy led to a recent judgment by the Supreme Court over the case between Hon Emeka Ihedioha and Hope Uzodinma.
This was stated by the Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, in a chat with Vanguard, while speaking on issues that have hampered smooth development of the electoral and judicial systems.
According to Rafsanjani the processes that led to the emergence of many of the contestants were faulty and some of the acclaimed winners of the elections used dubious tactics to get INEC to declare them as winners.
He said: “Lack of electoral integrity, absence of internal party democracy, commercialization and privatization of politics for private use are the outcomes of what we saw with the Supreme Court verdict which includes Imo state governorship election.
“All the parties were involved in massive rigging, vote-buying, political violence and electoral malpractice in the last election in Nigeria.
“The processes that led to the emergence of many of the contestants were faulty and during the election, many violations of the electoral processes happened. Again, some of the acclaimed winners used dubious tactics to get INEC to declare them as winners.
“The other issue has to do with corruption perception in our judicial system at different courts level where allegedly some politicians bought judgments in their favor and by the time the case reaches the SC it is a different story.
“Therefore, in my opinion, the Supreme Court judgment has to do with the facts presented before it by the different party involved if the legal team of any contestant is ill-prepared and unable to make sound arguments and tender evidence the Supreme Court will not just create argument and evidence for your case because you are responsible for bringing all the necessary facts to win your case.
“This is what I see with the case of Imo, the legal team should have provided sufficient facts to win their case but as mentioned earlier when the whole process is faulty and you cannot expect miracles.”
He also called for urgent electoral reform that would restore confidence in the electoral system.
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“CISLAC demands urgent electoral reform to put in place political integrity and electoral transparency in order to restore confidence and encourage political participation for quality governance in Nigeria”, he said.
Meanwhile, the CISLAC boss also gave a word of caution to supporters of politicians and the electorates, “Finally, I think it is time that the electorates to stop killing themselves on politicians because most of them have no political integrity and principles.
“They see the election as an opportunity to capture power for personal wealth accumulation and abuse of office with impunity. Just within one week of the change of Governor in Imo state most of state Assembly members have moved the APC leaving their former party PDP without any justification other than political commercialization for personal gains.”