Femi Falana has said in an interview with ARISE News on Friday that he thinks it is too late for Nigerians to start bemoaning the morality of the Electoral Act.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria responded to a question about the morality of the electoral act beyond jurisprudence. “I think it is too late in the day to cry or bemoan our fate, since 2010 we have engaged in a consistent campaign for far-reaching electoral reforms along the lines suggested by the recommendations of the Uwais Panel set up by President Yaradua following the crisis that attended the 2007 presidential election.”
The renowned legal practitioner further explained that reasons of personal interests are responsible for forestalling Nigeria’s age-long attempt at electoral reform.
He says that all of those who are involved in the present presidential election petition: Tinubu, Atiku and Obi have at one point or the other benefitted from the “status quo” electoral act.
Mr Falana also said that he has always believed that election petition should be concluded before the inauguration of the President and that the only way Nigeria can truly see progress in its electoral process is for it to embrace technology.
“By virtue of section 285 of the Constitution, election petitions shall be held and determined within a period of 180 days in the court of appeal and additional two months in the Supreme Court…These provisions were made when nobody thought we were going to have electronic voting.
“In 2017, Kenya Supreme Court decided Presidential election petition within 14 days. So, if we make the system to work, all you need will be the reports of the BVAS machine that has captured accreditation and the results that have been uploaded to the IREV,” he said.
Mr Falana maintained that by the procedures stated in the electoral act, the long duration undergone before a verdict is passed over a presidential election petition is inevitable. He said “technology”, that is, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV) are the best tools to quicken election petition processes.