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The Constitutional, Electoral and Human Rights Activist Lawyer, Festus Ogun has described the action by six states governors who asked the Supreme court to nullify the just-concluded election as a gross abuse of court .
Ogun stated this in his Twitter post on his verified account, saying that the suit filed by the Attorney General of six States asking the Supreme Court to declare as null and void the results of the Presidential Election will escalate tension.
The lawyer said the Supreme court lacks jurisdiction to hear the matter, asking the aggrieved candidates to approach election tribunal to seek redress.
The lawyer wrote, “the Supreme Court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the suit as a court of first instance. Section 232 of the 1999 Constitution provides that the Supreme Court shall exercise original jurisdiction only in disputes between the Federation and a State or between States.
“The case filed by the Honourable Attorney-Generals is related to the conduct and outcome of the Presidential Election.
“It is clearly not a “dispute” between those States and the Federation. Consequently, the Supreme Court lacks the original jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
“The question is: why was INEC not joined as Respondent? INEC conducted the election and should be answerable to complaints arising therefrom. Was it the AGF or the President that conducted the election? They clearly know that joining INEC will patently vitiate the suit.
“Curiously, part of the relief of the AGs is an order from the Supreme Court directing the review of the Election Result.
“The Supreme Court has no such power to review election results especially as a court of first instance. Only a duly constituted Tribunal can do that.
“By the combined effect of Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution and Sections 130, 131 & 132 of the Electoral Act, anyone dissatisfied with the conduct or outcome of an election shall approach a Tribunal or Court of Appeal in a Presidential election and certainly not the Supreme Court.
“Interestingly, Section 133(1) of the Electoral Act provides that only a candidate or a political party that actually participated in an election can question its conduct or outcome. Under our extant electoral laws, there is no such thing as a ‘public interest’ election petition.
“I am constrained, therefore, to respectfully hold the candid view that the AGs lack the locus standi, capacity to sue either at the Supreme Court or at Tribunal having not participated in the election as a candidate or political party.
“Those who have genuine grounds for challenging the conduct of the election as a result of corrupt practices and widespread non-compliance with the electoral act should approach the proper and appropriate channels recognized by law.
“We all have grievances on the conduct of the election. We are all angry. We are dissatisfied. INEC’s conduct of the election leaves a lot to be desired. Where law ends, tyranny begins.”
Estimated reading time: 1 minute(s)
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