A Group, known as Truth and Justice Vanguard, on Thursday commended President Muhammadu Buhari for calling on politicians to respect the rule of the law and stop subverting the will of the people through the judiciary.
Mr Hillary Ayokhai, the coordinator of the group who gave the commendation at a press briefing in Benin, also commended the president for decrying the desperation of politicians compromising the judiciary to upturn free, fair and credible elections in the country.
Ayokhai said the President, in his address to mark Nigeria’s 60th anniversary, said “this call is made more urgent if we realise that even after transparent, free, fair and credible election, desperation leads to compromising the Judiciary to upturn legitimate decisions of the people.”
“it is necessary to support the enthronement of the rule of law by avoiding actions which Compromise the Judiciary The recent build-up and eventual outcome of the Edo State elections should show Nigerians that it is my commitment to bequeath to this country processes and procedures that would guarantee that the people’s votes count.
“The problems with our electoral process are mainly human induced as desperate desire for power leads to desperate attempts to gain power and office,” the president said.
According to Ayokhai, “the president is committed to ensuring a credible electoral process and we must all support him to succeed.
“We also use this occasion to congratulate Governor Godwin Obaseki and deputy, Philip Shaibu, on their victory at the poll.
Also speaking on the president’s speech, Dan Orbih, the South-South, zonal Vice Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), called on the president to call on members of the APC to accept the people’s will.
“With this statement coming from the president, we do hope in future that the candidates who are defeated learn to respect the verdict of the people in future elections rather than turning courts into polling booths,” he said.
Chris Azebamwen, the Edo state publicity Secretary of the APC, said a free, fair and credible elections represent the will of the people.
He noted that there were 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 use to circumvent free and fair elections.
“For Instances, in the last governorship election in Bayelsa, 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.
He further stated that the president’s speech was directed to all politician, adding that the judiciary should not allow itself to be used to truncate any electoral process acclaimed to be free, fair and credible.
On his part, Razak Isenalumhe, a former chairman, Benin branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), called for a system that would monitor judicial officers handling electoral cases in court.
He noted that politicians, desperate to grab power, do everything possible to ensure that judges are compromised.
Edited By: Vincent Obi