Falana said it amounts to usurpation of INEC’s authority for courts to determine winners of elections.
Legal luminary and human rights activist Femi Falana has once again said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) retains the exclusive rights to determine winners of elections and not the judiciary.
The revered lawyer said this while reacting to the judgement of the Supreme Court in the presidential election petitions filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi of the Labour Party against President Bola Tinubu.
On Thursday, October 26, 2023, a seven-member panel of the apex court, led by John Inyang Okoro, dismissed Obi and Atiku’s petitions for lacking merit and affirmed President Tinubu’s victory.
For his part, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said the Supreme Court’s decision on the presidential election has all but ended any contest.
He made this known while speaking on Channels Television‘s Politics Today on Friday, October 27, 2023, where he insisted that determining election winners is an exclusive preserve of INEC if things are done properly.
“No doubt the judgment of the Supreme Court ascended the electoral contestation as far as the presidential election conducted in February this year is concerned, but for sure it is not a judicial endorsement of the conduct of the election by INEC.
“And what I mean is that even with the judgment, it is very clear that Nigeria has a long way to go in terms of ensuring that credible elections are conducted, elections that will be devoid of acrimony, elections that all of us will be proud of, but we are still a long way from there even with the judgment.
“Yes for now the presidential election is concluded, it should have been concluded in February, but it has just been concluded by the Supreme Court and it should not be so. The judiciary should not determine the winners of elections.
“Judges are not suited to determine the winners of election; that is a job that is the exclusive reserve of INEC if things are done properly and that is why we must put an end to the shame that has become our law in terms of conducting elections,” the activist said.
Falana stressed that Nigeria must be conscious of its status as the most populous black nation on earth and, therefore, has a greater responsibility to put its house in order so that the black race would be spared of insults among nations of the world.
The SAN stated that it doesn’t take much to conduct a credible election if the political class are honest and committed to a transparent process.