Professor Farooq Kperogi has predicted that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party petitions against the victory of President Bola Tinubu who was the Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election, will get final legal burial in Supreme Court.
But, he observed that if the Supreme Court grants legal protection to the technological safeguards that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) spent billions to acquire in order to assure voters that it would run a credible poll but whose use the tribunal said was optional and discretionary.
Recall that a five-man panel of justices of the Presidential Election Petitions tribunal led by Justice Haruna Tsammani recently, dismissed the petitions brought before it by three opposition parties.
The three political parties that challenged the president’s victory were the Peoples Democratic Party, the Labour Party, and the Allied Peoples Movement in the February 28th 2023 Presidential election.
Reacting via a detailed Column — Notes from Atlanta captioned, “PEPT’s verdict and the task before the Supreme Court”, Kperogi, alleged that the Presidential Candidate of PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Labour Party Candidate, Mr Peter Obi both had vowed to approach the Supreme Court to appeal the on the strength of their petitions which the former claimed were “really weak”.
The Professor of Communication ( in the Journalism and Emerging Media major) at Kennesaw State University, Georgia in United States of America, alleged that “The petitions are predictably heading to the Supreme Court where they will get a final legal burial. But I am glad that the appeals will help get us legal closure on two thorny issues once and for all: the electoral worth of the Federal Capital Territory and the intent of the framers of the 1999 constitution when they barred dual citizens from running for elective positions.
“Obi’s wildly Trumpian dissimulation is the most mystifying for me. It beats me how, with a narrow electoral focus, he thought he won a “mandate” that was “stolen” and how he could somehow have been declared the winner of an election in which he finished third without first asking the tribunal to invalidate the votes of the second-place finisher. By what logic would the tribunal have declared Obi the winner without first nullifying Atiku’s votes, which Obi didn’t ask for in his petition?
“In other words, the petitions weren’t as much about the vote as they were about who Tinubu was and wasn’t (most of which made more moral than legal sense) and why Tinubu should be disqualified, and a rerun ordered that would exclude Tinubu. That doesn’t strike me as a serious challenge”, Kperogi said.
The Nigerian University Don, described the centerpiece of the electoral petitions seeking the disqualification of BolaTinubu from running for the last presidential election over allegations of a voluntary civil forfeiture of drug money in US more than three decades ago, and high on emotions, conjectures, moral posturing, grandstanding, logical absurdities (such as insisting that Candidates must win 25 percent of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to win a presidential election thereby making Abuja more important than every part of Nigeria, were a wild goose chase and fundamental error.
Kparogi, described the “petitions as high on emotions, conjectures, moral posturing, grandstanding, logical absurdities (such as insisting that Candidates must win 25 percent of the FCT to win a presidential election thereby making Abuja more important than every part of Nigeria, that Tinubu should be disqualified for a voluntary civil forfeiture of drug money in the US more than three decades ago, that Tinubu should be disqualified because of false and ignorant claims he didn’t graduate from Chicago State University, or for perjuries he committed more than 20 years ago, etc.) than on legally sound, substantive arguments about the election itself”.
He also alleged that the Petitioners didn’t present foolproof, unimpeachable evidentiary facts, like Atiku did in 2019, to show that their actual votes were higher than INEC gave them —and thereby higher than Tinubu’s actual votes. Wishful thinking, online bullying,tendentious accounts of events, and coarse, primitive, illiterate invective against people who have different opinions are not substitutes for substance. Neither are mass delusion and blind political cultism guarantees of electoral victory.
He further alleged that the evidence for electoral irregularities they presented to the tribunal were, for the most part, inept, tangential, weak, and easily disputable. Plus, they are also guilty of these irregularities in their own areas of popularity. It isn’t enough to allege; you should prove your allegations beyond all shadows of doubt, beyond merely providing libidinal raw materials for the wet dreams of your worshipful supporters.
Kperogi declared that it makes neither logical, linguistic, nor political sense to isolate a small part of a whole and arbitrarily elevate its electoral value above others. The verdict of the Supreme Court will bury this nonsense forever, noting that the tribunal’s ruling on the challenge to Tinubu’s alleged dual citizenship is its worst, and hope that the Supreme Court will give a clarity on it.