By Jethro Ibileke
Two prominent politicians in Edo state, have hailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s condemnation of the desperation of politicians who try compromising the judiciary to upturn free, fair and credible elections in the country.
This is even as a former Chairman of Benin branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Barr. Razak Isenalumhe, described Buhari’s statement as a welcome development.
Buhari had in his nationwide broadcast to mark the nation’s 60 independence anniversary took a swipe on desperate politicians who used judiciary to upturn electoral processes acclaimed to be free, fair, credible and transparent.
The trio in separate interviews, unanimously opined that if the President’s statement is anything to go by, the days of using courts to circumvent the will of the people is over.
In an interview, the national vice chairman (south-south) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dan Orbih, in his comment, urged Buhari to admonish members of his party, the APC, to learn to accept the people’s will, instead of using courts to conduct elections that have been concluded by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said: “I think, he should really speak to members of his party who have resorted to using courts to be conducting every concluded elections.
“With this statement coming from the President, we do hope in future that the defeated APC candidates will learn to respect the verdict of the people in future elections, rather than turning courts into polling booths.”
Also speaking, Chris Azebamwen, who is the publicity secretary of APC in Edo state, noted that free, fair and credible elections represent the will of the electorate.
He contended that a candidate in an election may not want the results of an election to be compromised if it favors him.
He however noted that there are a lot of flaws in the electoral act that needed to be corrected.
“There are a lot of flaws in our electoral processes that politicians uses to circumvent free and fair elections.
“For Instances, in the last governorship election in Bayelsa state, the APC candidate won the election that was widely adjudged to be free, fair and credible.
“But the opposition party exploited the technicalities in the electoral act that there were irregularities in the governorship candidate’s running mate declaration of name,” he added.
While noting that the President’s speech affects all politicians across the political divides, Azebamwen charged judicial officers not to allow themselves to be used to truncate any electoral process acclaimed to be free, fair and credible.
On his part, the former NBA chairman, Razak Isenalumhe, opined that politicians out of desperation to get power do everything possible to ensure that judges are compromised.
He called for the putting in place a system for the monitoring of judiciary officers involve in the handling of electoral cases in court.