Judiciary’ll nullify Presidential Election if it fails substantially to comply with Electoral Act – Onitsha NBA boss

Alphonsus Nweze

The chairman of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Onitsha branch, popularly called “Premier Bar”, Mr. D. I. Uba, has expressed confidence in the judiciary to deliver justice to all parties concerned in the Election Petition arising from the just concluded 2023 general election.

The Labour Party Presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, his People’s Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar have taken to Court, and Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC), who the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the winner of the Presidential Election are among many that are in court.

However, many NIgerians are sceptical about the success of the petitioners on the ground that no court up to apex level has upturned any presidential election cases in the country.

Some also expressed doubt about the ability of the Judiciary to deliver justice to the petitioners on the ground that Nigeria judiciary has been compromised.

But speaking in an interview with journalists in Onitsha, Uba said the Tribunal or Supreme Court will do the needful if there is an overwhelming evidence that the last presidential election was massively rigged.

He said that one good thing about Judiciary is that there is always room for an appeal if one is not satisfied with the judgment of the lower Court.

“So, whoever doesn’t like what the Court of Appeal, the Court of first instance in the presidential election petition will decide has the opportunity to go to Supreme Court,” said the NBA boss.

He said the legal team of the parties involved in the legal battle must convince the Tribunal or the Supreme Court that there was substantial compliance or not with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 depending on the side the lawyers belong.

He added that it is a wrong impression by some who argue that there was no precedent of the Judiciary nullifying presidential election in the past and therefore either Obi or Atiku’s legal teams are just engaging in an exercise in futility.

He said: “So, it is not good to believe that the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court will because there is no such anticident say this election did not substantially comply with the Electoral Act, but you see we don’t have the precedent of upturning presidential elections in Nigeria, therefore we will not overturn it. I don’t hope for that. I don’t think that will happen.”

The legal luminary also said Nigerians should not judge the Supreme Court with the Machina and Lawan case or even Akpabio case because many have not read the judgments.

It is, he said, “when you read the judgment that you will know what each party said and that would give you a fuller comprehension of why such judgements were delivered.
Remember judgements of courts are written by Judges and these judgements they write follow them all through their lives. Therefore, no Judge deliberately writes something that is utterly repugnant to our rules and our laws. A judge is not bound to be 100 percent right every time. That is why there is room for appeals.”

He explained that if one reads a judgement and it makes sense and meets the end of justice, then it is justice in itself.

The NBA boss assured that he would fulfil his four cardinal promises made to Onitsha lawyers that made them vote him, which are to produce diary, set up E-Library, renovation of Onitsha Bar Centre and organise enough lectures, seminars and symposiums for lawyers.

But beyond these ones, he quipped that there are other things which he must do as chairman of Onitsha Premier Bar.

He also said the Premier Bar would be 100 years this year and assured that Onitsha lawyers would certainly celebrate its centenary

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