Why Tinubu cannot be sworn-in yet – Igbo leaders explain

Why Tinubu cannot be sworn-in yet – Igbo leaders explain

The Igbo leaders under the umbrella of Patriotic Forum have warned that it might be an call to anarchy if the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is sworn in to replace President Muhammadu Buhari without the completion of the electoral petitions that emanated from the February 25 presidential poll.

The elders called upon the government to allow the Judiciary to conclude hearing on the presidential election petitions before swearing in on May 29, 2023.

Briefing newsmen in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, chairman of the forum, chief Simon Okeke, condemned what it called a delayed tactic being employed by the Presidential Election Petition while emphasizing that “the constitution never said that the president must be sworn in on May 29.”

“The constitution never said that the president must be sworn in on May 29. So, let’s allow the judiciary to do its work” he added.

Okeke said: “Since INEC failed to meet most of its set guidelines including the failure to transmit votes as promised, from the polling units to fit the central server, the announced Presidential results have been challenged by five of the major political parties in the country including the Labour Party and Peoples Democratic Party PDP.

“We therefore call on the country’s Judiciary to consider the general interest of the millions of Nigerians, as well as the cooperate existence of Nigeria in handling these electoral petitions in order to avoid miscarriage of justice that may precipitate serious crisis in the country.

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“Since the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) allows anyone aggrieved after the announcement by INEC of the general election result to go on appeal from the Tribunal to the Supreme court to determine the final winner of the election, it stands to reason that no one should be sworn in as the winner before the apex court pronounces who, in its opinion, is the true winner of that election.

“Common sense requires that until the apex court pronounces who the winner is, the election is only midway and not over yet.” He emphasised.

The chairman further appealed to the chief justice of the federation to swear in only the person adjudged by the apex court to be the winner of the election

Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the candidate of Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, as the winner of Saturday, February 25 presidential election.

Mr Tinubu defeated 17 other candidates who took part in the poll. He received a total of 8,794,726 votes, the highest of all the candidates, meeting the first constitutional requirement to be declared the winner.

He also got over 25 per cent of the votes cast in 30 states, more than the 24 states constitutionally required.

Labour Party and the People’s Democratic Party PDP among others have petitioned the outcome of the poll.

The LP candidate, Peter Obi, stated in his legal suit that Tinubu was not qualified to run for office and requested that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) hold a new election in which Tinubu would not participate.

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