A human rights activist, Festus Ogun while speaking on the outcome of the 2023 general election, predicted that many Certificates of Return issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would be returned.
Questions have been raised by Nigerians and international bodies over the conduct of the presidential, governorship and other elections in the country.
INEC despite spending billions on Naira on the election had issues with the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and also the failure to promptly update the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV).
According to Ogun, the failure of INEC to conduct a free, fair and credible election has seen politicians file several suits in court.
The lawyer in an interview with Daily Post, however, stated that a number of politicians declared winners will be shocked by the outcome of court rulings.
He said, “I am involved in quite a number of election cases where I, alongside others, represent both petitioners and respondents.
“This gives me a broad view that even the supposed winners acknowledge that the electioneering process was flawed. Worryingly, some INEC officials, including RECs and returning officers, were not neutral.
Lots of the Certificate of Return issued by INEC will be returned. I know, as a matter of fact, that there will be a review of some of the outcomes.”
Speaking on how to avoid a repeat of the irregularities witnessed during the elections, he said there has to be a system that makes the electoral body truly independent.
Ogun said, “This starts from the appointment of INEC leadership; the mode of appointment needs to be reviewed.
The Adamawa experience shows clearly that some INEC officials are not neutral.
These characters, with respect, are a misfit and a product of a system that allows rogue politicians to appoint their cronies into INEC key decision-making positions.”
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