from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE Nigerian judiciary has been urged to serve justice to all electoral petitions by aggrieved parties in the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections.
The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) urged the judges to do better than the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which has come under criticism for the glitches last week.
“The current peace of the grave yard in the country must not be abused,” Willy Ezugwu, CNPP Secretary General, warned.
Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progessives Congress was announced winner of the presidential poll but his closet rivals, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, rejected the outcome.
The delivery of the results is the bone of contention.
CNPP recalled that in the build up to the 2023 general elections, INEC had consistently assured that results from the polling units in locations without internet services will automatically be uploaded by the Biometric Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) machines to the INEC result viewing portal (IREV) servers as soon as the BVAS is connected to internet network.
“But it is shocking that INEC failed to upload the results to its IREV servers even in urban cities where there were sufficient Internet network connections across the country,” Ezugwu said.
CNPP believes the delay in uploading the results of the presidential election in real-time as INEC did in Edo, Ondo and Ekiti states in previous elections was deliberate to ensure the emergence of a predetermined outcome through manual collation of the presidential election results.
Nonetheless, CNPP called on Nigerians not to feel frustrated by the observations suggesting the manipulation of the electoral system in the presidential election and come out en masse to vote for the candidates of their choice in the March 11 governorship and state legislative elections.
“We urge the Nigerian judiciary to do the needful and reject the usual reliance on technicalities to deny litigants justice in election petitions,” Ezugwu said.
– CAJ News