Despite the ruling of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which gave permission to the Peoples Democratic Party and its Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubarkar to inspect the election materials used in February 23 poll, the ex-President of the Nigerian BarAssociation , Dr Olisa Agbakoba (SAN ), has expressed doubts that
Atiku would get justice from the court.
Agbakoba said though, he is in support of Abubakar’ s decision to challenge the result of the February 23 presidential poll in court.
According to him, Atiku would find it difficult to get justice because
“ President Muhammadu Buhari has
subverted the Supreme Court by the
removal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Onnoghen, and the appointment of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (Justice Muhammad Tanko ).”
Agbakoba, who had earlier urged
Atiku not to go to court to challenge the poll result, said his earlier advice was based on his view that the PDPbpresidential candidate would face “ an uphill task, given the circumstances of
challenging election results” in the country.
He said from his experience as one of Nigeria’ s experienced election
petitions lawyers , the burden of proof to succeed in an election petition “ is unfairly huge .“ We first have to prove that there are
electoral irregularities and in my
view, once you prove this, you should succeed. Unfortunately, even if you prove electoral pirregularities you will have to show how that affected the results of the election.
“Remember that the gap between
former Vice- President, Atiku
Abubakar, and President Muhammadu
Buhari is about four million votes.
It is clear to me that the presidential election results were manifestly riddled with electoral irregularities.
“Now that former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar has approached the court, it is important to emphasise that he is constitutionally entitled to do so. My personal advice has become irrelevant.
I fully support and wish former Vice – President Atiku Abubakar every success,” Agbakoba said.
He, however, bemoaned the delay by
the National Judicial Council in
dealing with the case of the suspended Justice Onnoghen and the acting CJN, Justice Tanko.
He said , “ My perception is that we need to resolve the status of the Supreme Court . I wonder what is taking the National Judicial Council so long.
I am also worried about the
historical precedent , as no petition on presidential election result has ever