Plateau/Kano: Falana Calls for Appellate Court Judgment Review, Blames INEC for Election Failures  - The Top Society

Plateau/Kano: Falana Calls for Appellate Court Judgment Review, Blames INEC for Election Failures 

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Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, has called for a review of the recent judgments by the appellate court, which ousted Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State and Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Falana criticized the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), asserting that it failed in its duty to conduct proper elections in the country.

According to Falana, the nullification of votes by the courts due to the alleged negligence of INEC is unjust, particularly when the electoral umpire cleared candidates without proper primaries. He emphasized that the court should not invalidate thousands of votes because of INEC officials’ failure to stamp ballot sheets.

Falana stressed that election matters should be resolved before the inauguration of any administration, highlighting the need for due diligence in the electoral process. He called for a thorough examination of the judgments, urging those dissatisfied to pursue the legal route to the Supreme Court.

Recalling the appellate court’s decisions, which affected governors from opposition parties, the judgments included the removal of Governor Abba Yusuf of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) in Kano, with Nasir Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC) declared the winner.

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In Zamfara, Governor Dauda Lawal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was sacked, and a fresh election was ordered in three local government areas.

The court also removed PDP’s Caleb Mutfwang in Plateau State, declaring APC’s Nentawe Goshwe as the winner, citing a violation of the court order regarding a valid congress in 17 local government areas.

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While the appellate court upheld Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s election in Lagos State, Falana criticized INEC for inadequate diligence in the electoral process. He suggested that those discontent with the court decisions have the option to approach the Supreme Court.

“If you look at what happened in Lagos is different from what happened in Plateau. You are being told in Plateau that there was a judgement of the high court to the effect that primaries have to be conducted. The judgement, as usual, was dishonoured and disobeyed and the election went on.” 

He emphasized that the political class should adhere to the court’s decisions.

“It is different from Kano where you are being told that voters can be punished. It is a very dangerous judicial policy to sanction voters for the mistake of electoral officers. We are being told that 165,000 votes are wasted, they are invalid because some electoral officers committed an error by not stamping them. 

On how that affect the validity of election, Falana said,

“I do hope that this time around the Supreme Court will resolve these needless controversies surrounding the non-stamping of ballot papers by INEC officials who have not been recommended for any sanction. 

“This is why these judgements will have to be reviewed.”

 

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