A member f House of Representatives, Shina Peller has bared his mind on the Supreme Court judgment that nullified the election of Bayelsa former governor-elect, David Lyon due to certificate forgery of his Deputy-elect, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoye.
In the opinion posted on his Twitter page, the lawmaker said the judgment of the apex court has exposed the kind of faulty democratic process Nigeria runs.
In the write up titled Bayelsa State Judgement: Faulty Democratic Process, Jurisprudence, Need For Electoral Reform, he said his views are beyond party line as it also affected cases in Imo, Osun and other related cases.
He took to his Twitter page and wrote: “My recent opinionated post on the Bayelsa State judgment is being viewed as biased in some quarters. However, the points outlined there implies to IMO, OSUN, and other affected states. I’m putting it out because “electoral reform” is needed now. We shouldn’t set ugly precedent.”
My recent opinionated post on the Bayelsa State judgement is being viewed as biased in some quarters. However, the points outlined there implies to IMO, OSUN and other affected states. I’m putting it out because “electoral reform” is needed now. We shouldn’t set ugly precedent.
— Shina Peller (@ShinaPeller) February 16, 2020
Read his opinion below.
BAYELSA STATE JUDGEMENT: FAULTY DEMOCRATIC PROCESS, JURISPRUDENCE, NEED FOR ELECTORAL REFORM – Hon. Shina Peller The verdict of the Supreme Court on the Bayelsa State Governorship election exposes the kind of faulty democratic process we run here in Nigeria.
The verdict of the Supreme Court on the Bayelsa State Governorship election exposes the kind of faulty democratic process we run here in Nigeria.
My opinion is not based on me being a member of the ruling All Progressive Party, APC, but on the premise of being a patriotic Nigerian. For, it is crystal clear that the country’s jurisprudence is faulty and on a sharp decline.
The electoral law should be reviewed and reformed to reduce the role of the judiciary In deciding the outcome of elections. This would make the resort to court on pre-election cases and election petition matters minimal.
How we got to the point where the court could nullify lawful votes by citizens beats my imagination by far – we are faced with a deepening systemic failure with ignorance of the workings of the administrative state.
Furthermore, the electoral commission, INEC, should be given the power to screen and disqualify candidates prior to the election. Only then will political parties be forced to sit-up and do what’s right.
As a result of this, we went on to suggest that as a Nation we ought to establish or have an anti-corruption court that will deal solely on corruption cases. Thus relieving the burden on the court.
For the Supreme Court to throw away the popular mandate of the people simply because of technicalities, leaves many, like me in a state of a conundrum. Because, so much was spent in conducting the Bayelsa State election, lives were lost, time was wasted.
The outcome of the polls was the outright will of the people. Now, the Supreme Court has truncated that which will cause more confusion in the polity.
As a Nation, we need to focus on building strong institutions and consciously work towards establishing a progressive society.
There’s no sensible reason that could be laid out for the careless screening process for the disqualified APC Deputy Governorship candidate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoye that led to the big blow by the Supreme court that vitiated the joint ticket of the APC.
The All progressive congress has done well in securing major seats in the general election. However, we should create a mechanism with zero tolerance for mistakes to avoid pre-election cases.