Femi Falana, SAN Decries Use of Judiciary To Determine Election Winners in Nigeria

Human rights lawyer and advocate, Femi Falana (SAN), has expressed his concern about the prevailing situation in Nigeria where election winners are ultimately determined by the courts. In response to the recent Supreme Court ruling that settled the presidency, Falana voiced his disapproval of the idea that the outcome of a presidential election should be decided by the judiciary.

During a live TV program, Falana emphasized that this practice of relying on the courts to determine election results, rather than the electoral body, deprives the people of the opportunity to elect their preferred candidates to elective position.

“No doubt the judgment of the Supreme Court ascended the electoral contestation as far as the presidential election conducted in February this year is concerned, but for sure it is not a judicial endorsement of the conduct of the election by INEC,” the senior advocate said.

“And what I mean is that even with the judgment, it is very clear that Nigeria has a long way to go in terms of ensuring that credible elections are conducted, elections that will be devoid of acrimony, elections that all of us will be proud of, but we are still a long way from there even with the judgment.

“Yes for now the presidential election is concluded, it should have been concluded in February, but it has just been concluded by the Supreme Court and it should not be so. The judiciary should not determine the winners of elections.

“Judges are not suited to determine the winners of election; that is a job that is the exclusive reserve of INEC if things are done properly and that is why we must put an end to the shame that has become our law in terms of conducting elections,” Falana reiterated.

The rights activist said it doesn’t take much to conduct a good election if the political class are honest and dedicated in the conduct of transparent elections, but, added that Nigeria must realise at all times that it has the largest concentration of black people on earth and therefore has a greater responsibility to put its house in order so that black people will not be insulted all over the world.