The road forward for Nigeria's Supreme Court
By Andy Okosun, Special to the African World News:
Editor's Note: Considering the recent verdict of the special elections tribunal in Nigeria, which found plaintiffs Presidential candidates Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar did not succeed in proving their case of electoral malpractice in last February's poll, Okosun examines its implications for the Nigerian citizenry.
In the wake of Nigeria's 2023 general election, the nation finds itself at a crucial crossroads, grappling with a myriad of challenges including corruption, governance issues, insecurity, hunger, and criminal activities. Against this backdrop, the contested victory of Bola Tinubu in the presidential race has ignited a fervent debate about justice, transparency, and the future of the nation. The presidential election petition tribunal (PEPT), headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani, stands as a beacon of hope for those seeking redress in the face of alleged electoral malpractices.
Amidst these developments, a recent public poll conducted by Coach Andy Okosun, and powered by Intelligence Machines, sought to gauge the public's sentiment regarding the course that justice should take in the PEPT case. The poll posed a question central to the minds of Nigerians: "What is your idea of justice that you want the presidential election tribunal headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani to deliver?"
The options provided represented various paths that the tribunal could have taken to address the contentious outcome of the 2023 presidential election:
Uphold Bola Tinubu as president-elect, asserting that the election was free and fair.
Nullify the election and call for a re-run.
Disqualify Bola Tinubu and declare Atiku Abubakar as president-elect.
Disqualify Bola Tinubu and declare Peter Obi as president-elect.
Disqualify Bola Tinubu and call for a re-election.
So far, the tribunal has decided to uphold Tinubu's win.
Expressing uncertainty about the type of justice the election tribunal should deliver.
The poll results revealed a clear preference among the respondents. A substantial 85.7% of participants indicated that they believed the tribunal should disqualify Bola Tinubu and declare Peter Obi as the rightful president-elect. This resounding majority showcases the public's desire for change and a shift away from the current political trajectory.
Additionally, 14.3% of respondents favored an alternative path: disqualifying Bola Tinubu and calling for re-election. While this figure is smaller, it still demonstrates a segment of the population that sees the potential for a more equitable and transparent electoral process.
The poll results underscore the intense public scrutiny and desire for justice in the aftermath of the 2023 presidential election. They highlight a growing impetus for change, a yearning for leaders who will prioritize the nation's welfare above all else, and a demand for a more accountable political system.
As the presidential election petition tribunal navigated the complex landscape of the PEPT case, the voices of the people will undoubtedly continue to remain influential. Nigeria's democratic journey depends on the fair and just resolution of this legal challenge, (now to be marshalled out at the Supreme Court) as it holds the potential to redefine the nation's political landscape and set a precedent for future elections. The eyes of the nation are now fixed on the nation's highest court, awaiting a decision that will shape the course of Nigeria's future.