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Liborous Oshoma: Hold INEC Accountable For Election Results, Put Pressure on Them

He said that the legal presumption that INEC’s actions are regular, makes it challenging, even for a tribunal, to invalidate the election and hold INEC accountable for its actions.

Liborous Oshoma, Lawyer, has said that it should be the responsibility of the INEC to establish the authenticity of election outcomes, given that they have access to all the essential resources and tools required for the electoral procedure.

In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Thursday, Oshoma said that the burden of proving irregularity or regularity of elections should be placed on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Election Petition Tribunals, which are convened in various states, have been overseeing proceedings and issuing verdicts on a minimum of 400 election-related petitions.

Following this, Oshoma stated that “The courts indirectly without saying it is giving INEC knocks.

“If there is a burden placed on INEC to show how the process was seamless, I think INEC would do everything possible, knowing fully well there are two hurdles to cross.

“The first hurdle will be conducting a credible election and then the next huddle will now be to show to the court that the elections truly were conducted in compliance with all the laid out rules.

“We need to put pressure on INEC.”

He argued against imposing an undue responsibility on a man who took part in the election, and when it’s evident to everyone that the election had issues, requiring him, by legal means, to demonstrate its flaws.

“Most of the materials for proving these irregularities also would not be with him (election candidate). Some of them will be with the man (INEC) who conducted the election,” Oshoma added.

He mentioned that these petitions would continue to be a recurring occurrence because the government “seems to be the only employer of labour,” excluding some major private sectors.

Additionally, he said that due to the legal presumption of INEC’s actions being regular, it becomes challenging, even for a tribunal, to invalidate the election and hold INEC accountable for its actions.

He suggested that by exerting pressure on the national assembly and legislators, beginning at the local government level and extending to the state assembly, we can make sure that the responsibility for proving the legitimacy of an election lies with the person who conducted it, as they possess all the necessary materials and equipment for the electoral process.

Oshoma further emphasised the importance of increased involvement in local government elections, highlighting that these government bodies are in closer proximity to the citizens. He also emphasised the need to strengthen the local governance level.

He said, “When you have robust local government participation and governance at that local level, there will be less people interested in going to the centre, and the rancours with the election at the centre will not be much.”

Frances Ibiefo

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