By Caleb Ayansina
The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), the foremost independent citizen election observers group in Nigeria with over 400 members has observed with utter consternation, a slew of verdicts on state governorship elections recently handed down by the Supreme Court.
The Chairman of TMG, Com. Ibrahim Zikirullahi in a statement, yesterday in Abuja said that they were worried by the verdict as it had given blank cheque to election riggers in the country.
According to him, “The disturbing trend in these judicial pronouncements is in the fact that the apex court has elected to give judgments, and not justice. In the face of unrepentant attempts to subvert the will of the people in a good number of the cases, the court has curiously turned a blind eye.
“For us, it is absolutely shocking that the Supreme Court has decided to act as if it exists in another planet. TMG is perturbed by the strange legal reasoning that has informed the blank cheque that the court has given to election riggers.
“We make bold to say that while the legal premise behind these judgments is best known to the apex court, the open reward for electoral impunity does not resonate with the Nigerian people. As the foremost election observation coalition in the country, we see the Supreme Court judgments as clear cut attempts at legalising electoral robberies.
“These judgments, particularly on Rivers and Akwa Ibom States, have merely given judicial imprimatur to the damaging mind set of rapacious politicians who would stop at nothing in their bid to subvert the will of the people.
“What these judgments have effectively done is to ridicule Nigeria in the eyes of the international community, while diminishing our country’s stature in the comity of lovers of democracy around the world.
“Painfully, the biggest losers are the ordinary people in the states who have been denied their democratic choices on account of the violence and impunity that characterised the polls in those states.
“In the end, what the Supreme Court has succeeded in doing is to spit on the graves of all those innocent Nigerians who lost their lives as a result of the activities of those hell bent on subverting the will of the people.
“On behalf of the scores of Nigerians whose lives were cut shut by the activities of election riggers, we take solace in the fact that even beyond the justice of the Supreme Court; there is the justice of the Almighty. And in due course, those who wilfully killed and maimed in the desperate bid to capture power, would be held to account.”