Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, said the judgments of the appellate court sacking Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State and Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State should be reviewed.
Falana made this call in an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics. According to him, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, failed in its duty to conduct proper elections in the country.
He said the votes of Nigerians should not be nullified by the courts because of the supposed negligence of the electoral umpire that shouldn’t have cleared candidates put forward by parties without primaries conducted.
He also said thousands of votes should not be invalidated by the court because INEC officials failed to stamp ballot sheets.
Falana noted that election matters should be concluded before the inauguration of any administration.
Recall that the appellate court sacked three governors that INEC declared winners in the March 2023 poll. All the three governors sacked by the appellate court are in opposition parties.
The court sacked Yusuf of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, NNPP, and declared his All Progressives Congress, APC, counterpart, Nasir Gawuna, as the winner of the poll.
In Zamfara, the appellate court sacked Governor Dauda Lawal of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, when it declared the poll inconclusive about eight months afterward.
The court ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election in three local government areas of the state. PDP’s Lawal and APC’s Bello Matawalle are the major contenders in the race. On Sunday, the appellate court sacked PDP’s Mutfwang and ordered INEC to issue a Certificate of Return to APC’s Nentawe Goshwe. The court held that the party violated the court order that a valid congress be conducted in the 17 local government areas of that state.
However, the appellate court affirmed the election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the APC in Lagos State.
But, speaking on the judgments of the appellate court, Falana said INEC failed to perform due diligence before and during the elections.
He said all those dissatisfied with the appeal court verdicts can go to the Supreme Court.