The electoral law in Nigeria stipulates that individuals are duly elected by winning the highest number of votes cast, in addition to having a wide spread of support for Gubernatorial and Presidential elections. However, in recent election cycles, and particularly in the aftermath of the 2023 general elections, the courts have now been saddled with an expanding role as the decider of elections.
The introduction of the BVAS and the new 2022 electoral law seem to have worsened instead of ameliorating this problem. Politicians possessed by their insatiable lust for power at all costs, have now realized that it is more expedient to rig elections and then defend the fraudulent outcome in court.
As the case of the Osun gubernatorial elections shows, electoral matters that might appear black and white get complicated as lawyers play up gray sides and politicians display disregard for the judiciary when they can, inflaming tensions and depleting public confidence in the already distrusted judiciary. The election which was held in June last year returned Senator Ademola Adeleke as governor. But Governor Oyetola petitioned the tribunal, which voided the election. However, upon appeal, Adeleke’s victory was upheld. The case is now before the Supreme Court. The apex court is going to be inundated with cases from all the hundreds of petitions filed.
No one wants to concede an election any more because there is the chance of a jury of unelected judges upholding them as duly elected. Electoral outcomes in the country are no longer determined by the electorate, but by judges who are continually losing public confidence. This further goes to show that capitalist politicians in Nigeria care less for the sham credibility of their exploitative system, which benefits all of them. Each of them is interested first and last in their self-serving interests.
by Kayode Somtochukwu ANI