The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) has called on the President of the United States, Joe Biden not to recognise the government of Nigeria’s President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu until the end of the ongoing litigation challenging his victory.
NADECO also accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of brazenly violating the Electoral Act of 2022 by failing to transmit the election results from the polling units to the servers in real-time as promised.
This was contained in a communique issued yesterday by NADECO at its Extraordinary Summit held in Washington, DC in the US.
The communiqué, which was signed by Lloyd Ukwu, NADECO’s Executive Director, urged the US to withhold any recognition of an incoming Nigerian Government until the Supreme Court has thoroughly and transparently examined the 2023 election process as the US did with the 2022 elections in Kenya.
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The group also advised the US Government to impose Magnitsky Act sanctions immediately on all those found to have impeded or subverted the 2023 election process exercising all available sanctions on such individuals.
It further enjoined the US to utilise the late Gen. Sani Abacha’s loot currently in asset forfeiture proceedings in US District Court to compensate victims of election violence in Nigeria.
“Disclose and release all available records pertaining to the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, which are now at issue in the election petitions, to the courts for adjudication,” it added.
Besides, NADECO alleged that INEC violated the Electoral Act of 2022, its own guidelines, and lied to the Nigerian people when it promised that it would transmit the election results from the polling units to the servers in real-time, lamenting that it failed to do so.
The group further called on President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency, remove Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of INEC and further called on his arrest and prosecution.
It also added that all other INEC officials found wanting in electoral fraud be prosecuted by the competent court of law.
The communique also decried that many Nigerians have lost hope in the judiciary due to some controversial judgments it had delivered in recent time, but said that the fate of millions of Nigeria depended on it.
It also proposed that the Supreme Court of Nigeria and the election tribunals must expeditiously and transparently consider election challenges, and in the case of the presidency, if no final determination is reached on the results of the February, 2023 election before the scheduled May 29, 2023 inauguration, the constitution must be followed.
It posited that the constitution provides for the Senate President to be installed as the acting president for three months to chart a legal transition of power in Nigeria.
The communique read: “To achieve these objectives our legal panel recommended further that: Parties in the petition request and the court grant a writ of mandamus order requiring INEC to review all parties’ objections and reevaluate the election results within seven days as authorized by law which INEC failed to do.
“That the tribunal’s proceedings be broadcast live given the global interest, import, and importance of the elections. In that light, we commend the commencement of tribunal hearings where all parties have pledged to expedite the process. That the Nigerian Supreme Court, the Nigerian Government, and all of its security agencies including the Department of State Service (DSS), refrain from hastily swearing-in or facilitating the swearing-in of any of the 2023 Presidential Candidates until their exhaustion of all available remedies.
“Alternatively, given the widespread discontent and rejection of electoral process by Nigerians at home and abroad, the Nigeria Supreme Court is urged to rely on the ‘political question doctrine’ to restrain itself from the polarising nature of its decision regarding the 2023 presidential elections, and order INEC to conduct a fresh election, which complies with the requirement of the Nigerian Constitution, the 2022 Electoral Act as amended, and INEC’s own guidelines.”
The body also called for the unbundling of the Nigerian Police and decentralization in order to effectively maintain law and order across the entire country.
It argued that a single police system has become archaic and inadequate to effectively and adequately police a country as populous as Nigeria and with an expansive land mass.
It also challenged the Nigerian Government to always obey the rule of law irrespective of its outcome, stressing that the government had been selective in obeying the law.