Bolaji Ayorinde, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has condemned the action of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of Adamawa state, Hudu Yunusa Ari, who was suspended by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for declaring results unofficially.
Ayorinde, in an interview with ARISE TV on Tuesday, made his feelings known about the acts that were committed by the Adamawa REC, as he opined that the situation would not have happened if proper steps were taken to appoint to right people into public offices. “When we bring people because they have been to one school or the other and we do not have a basis for looking at their character, or even looking at their minds, and we put them in positions, then you know, they are bound to do things like what that fellow did,” he said.
He also blamed the system as he said, “INEC has been very weak” saying that the decision of removing the man, arresting him, and bringing in the proper officer to declare the results, should have been done on the spot, saying, “The moment that fellow took over the coalition centre and started to declare results or attempted to announce results from a sheet of paper, he should have been arrested immediately.” He went on to say, “We are a country of many laws but we are very weak in the enforcements of laws, and that is why we have so many shenanigans.”
Ayorinde observed that while there were people who were still, unfortunately, concerned mainly with their political affiliations, other people had seen the wrong in the situation and were speaking out against it, regardless of their affiliations. “With this particular instance, many people of sound reasoning are beginning to speak out, and it is cutting across political lines,” he said.
Ayorinde then said that as for Binani’s filing for a judicial review of INEC’s decision to a Federal High Court in Abuja, he didn’t know what the basis of the court action would be, as he said that there was yet to be a declaration of results by the INEC. He explained, “The only person empowered by law to make the declaration is yet to make that declaration, so there is no declaration.”
He agreed with Olisa Agbakoba’s views which stated that election appeals could be handled within 7 days as he said “there is no rocket science to it”, and that the Nigerian Judiciary had the capacity to clear the petitions within 7-14 days in order to avoid complications after the swearing in of a new president.
Concluding his interview, when he was asked to grade the conduct of INEC in the elections this year, he said, “Grading INEC has become extremely difficult in our climes. Elections are very sensitive. It is either we have a democracy or we don’t have one.” He then said, “We need a very serious post mortem of what has gone wrong,” as he urged the tribunal to look into the problems of the election and to find solutions so as to prevent such issues arising again.