With the madness known as the 2019 general elections virtually concluded, save for Rivers and Adamawa states, attention is now being shifted to various election petition tribunals set up across the country where aggrieved contestants are going to ventilate their grievances and to seek redress.
At the build up to those elections, Nigerians were told to get prepared for the exercise, and that they should arm themselves with their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) with which to elect the candidate of their choice, which majority of them obeyed.
Alas, as it later turned out, following the outcome of those elections, many people were disappointed that their PVCs did not make much meaning, and or were of little effect, as their will had been subverted. Then, they began to complain, both the contestants and noncontestants.
Beginning from the main opposition PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to candidates of State Houses of Assembly, everybody was complaining. There was hardly anybody who did not have one thing or the other to complain about the outcome of that election. And many of them decided to head to the tribunals, to seek redress.
But what would these people be canvassing before the tribunals? In other words, what were they going to tell the tribunals as their grievances? There are myriads of them.
They are going to complain that the last election was not free and fair, that the environment for the exercise was like a war front, not safe for them and for their supporters to have exercised their franchise, that the entire place was militarized, and that an election which was supposed be a civil duty, was turned into a battle field, which had scared away many of the people and prevented them from exercising their franchise.
They are going to complain that many people were disenfranchised by the card readers which had refused to work at their own end, while at the other end, there were free votings, even without the use of card readers, including underaged voters.
They are going to complain that the figures obtained at the polling units through the card readers were completely at variance with what was later declared at the collation centres.
They are going to complain about the so many killings during the elections by various security personnel, or by some armed political thugs. They are going to complain about the snatching of ballot boxes, the destruction and tearing of ballot papers as well as the result sheets.
There are so many things they would complain about, they would canvass before the tribunals, and for which they would be seeking redress.
It would be the time for lawyers to begin their acrobatic display of words, the twisting of the English language, the different uses of verbs, nouns and adjectives, and turning facts upside down.
It would be the period of uncertainty, anxiety, trepidation, worry, holding one’s hand on the chest, wondering where the pendulum would swing to.
As expected, the tribunals would give conflicting judgments even on the same case with the same scenario. Their verdicts were going to be appealed to a higher bench, which would inviariably end at the Supreme Court, the final bus stop.
The question now is, will the gentlemen in wigs, on the Temple of Justice, deliver according to their conscience, without fear or favour, or will they sell it to the highest bidder? We wait and see.
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