Written by Eno Samuel
As the final decisions on petitions in respect of the just-concluded elections are about being taken by members of various courts (Election Petition Tribunals and Appeal Courts), the masses are relying on the judicaiary to perform well. But one hears that some Judges did lots of lobbying to make the list.
It is assumed that the Tribunal members are familied persons, therefore, one expects spouses of such members to be weary and discourge any sudden increase in their family life-styles which could be as a result of bribes aimed at thwarting (any) expected justice. It should be remembered how the wife of Pointus Pilate requested her husband to properly scrutinize the case when Jesus Christ was brought before him for judgement. She washed off her hands. We all knew what happened thereafter.
In order to advance our naesent democracy, all hands must be on deck: There were places where oppositions were restricted to campaign, thereby robbing them of their expected votes; such action is contrary to electoral law. There were instances of security agents aiding some politicians against others. There were perpetrated hijacks of ballot boxes and other electoral materials with the cooperation of the security operatives.
There were instances of alibis that aided violence. Opposition agents were threatened and scared off polling booths thereby creating opportunities for electoral frauds. There were intimidations and attacks on youth corp ad-hoc staffs that refused to compromise; one of the ready references was pictorially reported in Daily Sun April 27, 2011 where one laid critical at Emmanual Hospital in Eket. There were falsications of result documents mostly at the collation centres. There were deaths of innocent voters who only came out to exercise their civic responsibilities. There were attacks on local observers in some states and police became onlookers as if they were in agreement. In some cases INEC staffs became willing tools used by some of the incumbents to falsify election results.
Since it costs lots of funds for re-run elections, let it be suggested that where any or all of the above anomalies were convincingly noted by the Judges, the appellants should be handed over the mantle of governorship as was the case during the 2007 governorship elections in Ekiti, Ondo, Edo, and Osun states. As nobody is above the law there should not be any sacred cow. The electorate must not be robbed their sincere and peaceful conduct at the polls because such would discourage them. And above all, the Judges must not project the judiciary in bad light.
Eno Samuel, Oron Road, UYO, Akwa Ibom State