Legal expert says INEC failed to verify Tinubu’s certificate, calls on judiciary to restore faith in democracy

An Abuja-based Human Rights activist, Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Chukwudi Ezeobika, has said the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), should take a large portion of the blame for the embarrassing situation Nigeria now finds itself because of the controversy over President Bola Tinubu’s credentials.

Ezeobika explained that apart from its less than noble role in the conduct of the 2023 Presidential elections, if INEC had used part of its huge budget to conduct due diligence on credentials submitted to it, by high profile contestants, we would not be where we are today.

The legal practitioner said this in a statement, in Abuja, on Sunday.

According to him, whichever side of the political divide Nigerians belong today, we all have become an object of ridicule in the international community on account of the President’s Chicago State University, CSU, certificate.

Ezeobika said, “Having received huge budgets (which amounts to billions of Nigerian naira) both from the Nigerian government and international donors, it remains inconceivable how the INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, could betray the very trust bestowed upon him by Nigerians to give them a brighter future through the conduct of a free, fair and credible election.”

He further queried the President’s long term ambition to preside over the nation as well as remain in office with the full knowledge of the contradictions on his personality which has since be brought to light.

The legal practioner said, “The decision by Bola Ahmed Tinubu to aspire to become a President in Nigeria, knowing fully well the extent of his dishonesty is troubling.”

“These (Chicago State University) certificates (Released by an Order of a United States of America Court in Chicago , Illinois), were consciously and duly deposed to by President Bola Tinubu, before a Commissioner for Oaths and were later submitted to INEC in the relevant forms prior to the general elections.

“Nigerians have, to a great extent, lost hope and confidence in the Nigerian electoral system as well as the judiciary as justice has consistently been sacrificed on the alter of technicalities and or procedures.

“The relevance and morality of laws enacted by the National Assembly and judgements delivered by the Courts respectively, have become not only alien but at variance with the wishes, desires and aspirations of the Nigerian people especially her teeming youths.

“The Judiciary in any democracy remains the last hope of the common man and when the integrity of any Judicial system is in question and or undermined, then the entire superstructure, including the continued existence of such society is in ruins.

“The time for the Nigerian Judiciary to redeem its integrity and image is now and the future of the Nigerian State will ultimately be shaped by the actions and or inactions of persons appointed to admister justice in our Courts.”

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