Contention Over Kano Court Judgment: Chairman of the Section of Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL) of the Nigerian Bar Association, Monday Ubani, expressed dissatisfaction with the recent court ruling in Kano that resulted in the removal of Abia state governor-elect, Alex Otti. Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the Federal High Court Kano declared Otti’s votes in the last general election as wasted due to the Labour Party’s failure to submit its membership registers of Kano and Abia. However, Ubani criticized the court’s decision, stating that the responsibility of removing a governor-elect lies with the tribunal, and the proper process was not followed.
Questioning the Legality and Logic of the Verdict: Ubani strongly criticized the judgment, calling it illogical, illegal, and a violation of the Electoral Act and the Constitution. He stressed that such actions undermine the nation’s credibility and urged for adherence to due process and sanity in judicial proceedings. Ubani emphasized that pre-election matters should be resolved within 14 days, as stipulated by the constitution, and once results declaration and certificates of return are issued, the recourse for grievances lies with the tribunal.
The Judiciary’s Role and the Need for Compliance: Ubani acknowledged the important role of the judiciary in ensuring compliance with electoral laws but highlighted the need for meticulousness and adherence to established procedures. He emphasized that the judiciary’s duty is to correct any infractions of the electoral laws rather than altering the will of the majority. Ubani underscored the significance of a well-defined and sacrosanct role for the judiciary in the electoral process, focused on upholding the integrity of the system and protecting the choice of the majority.