Avert ING, conclude Atiku, Obi’s case against Tinubu, before inauguration – Agbakoba



Instead of the 180 days required by the Electoral Act to dispose of the legal challenge against the declaration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the resolution of the matter could be determined in just seven days, Olisa Agbakoba, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), said on Monday.

This is one of the ways of stopping the advocates of Interim Government, which Agbakoba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), condemned last week, calling for maximum punishment for those plotting it.

The foremost human rights advocate and former President of the Civil Rights Organisation had reacted immediately to the revelation by the Department of State Service (DSS), which said it uncovered the plot by some Nigerians to install the ING, which Nigeria experienced for the first time after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election.

In his latest intervention, Agbakoba, said: “The tension around the call for an interim government is that the presidential election petition may not conclude before the inauguration of a new president on May 29, 2023. But it’s very possible to conclude these petitions, provided that the court systems are very proactive.

“Under arbitration matters, procedural orders and or directions issue peremptorily to resolve sometimes very complex jurisdictional and procedural issues.

“The presidential election tribunals are urged to adapt the procedures very familiar with speedy conclusion of arbitration matters.”

Emphasising the issues to be determined in the election petitions, to be the interpretation of Section 134 of the 1999 Constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as to whether securing 25% (Percent) of votes in federal capital territory Abuja is compulsory to be president,  the legitimacy of the Tinubu ticket, given that his running mate, Kashim Shettima, was listed for the Senate when he was appointed and issue relating to the qualification of candidates to stand for the presidential election, Agbakoba, said all three could be determined before May 29 inauguration date.

He added: “If the petition were arbitration proceedings, an arbitrator may issue a procedural order directed to counsel to address all complex disputes and the arbitral tribunal will deliver what is called a partial final award. In the case of the presidential election tribunal, including the supreme court, they can also direct procedural orders with very short timelines given to counsel, to address the complex jurisdictional issues raised in the petitions and the tribunal/supreme court will then issue final summary judgment as appropriate.

“We strongly believe that between the tribunal and Supreme Court, the petitions can be resolved within seven days from today. This will cool the temperature in Nigeria on the issue of interim government etc.

“The speed proposed here requires a radical departure from our present judicial policy where case management plays a very limited role in judicial outcomes. Case management is the spirit and driving force of modern adjudication. Speed of justice is the mantra that our judiciary must proclaim very loudly. This is needed in the presidential petition proceedings urgently.”

The Timeframe allowed by law for which an election petition must be heard and judgement delivered is 180 days from the date of the filing of the petition.

An appeal from a decision of an election tribunal or court must be heard and disposed of within 60 days from the date of the delivery of the judgment of the tribunal.

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