• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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INEC sabotaged uploading presidential poll for pre-determined interest- Farotimi

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TV, he spoke on the state of the state of the judiciary and the 2023 polls. Iniobong Iwok who monitored brings excerpts:

I am not a lawyer again, It is important that distinction be made.

Why? Are you called to the bar?

Yeah, but I can choose to decide that I’ve called the day on the profession the practice of the law itself. I’ve called it a day, I retired five years ago and I’m done.

Why?

There are multiple reasons, but the key one being the fact that I’d always desired to leave the practice of law after a point, but the fact that it has become increasingly impossible to practice law in a lawless environment. It was very easy to say bye bye.

But that predated, let me be clear, it wasn’t like Nigeria became like this overnight it was like this since I was born. So, I had already made it clear to myself that once I got to a point in my life I was going to say goodbye, to when in a living saying my Lord and your worship to people I know are not in any way fitting or deserving to be called those names.

I know that I live in a country, that is that is ruled essentially by impunity and not law, so wise I could play that game of practicing law until a point in my life, I understood clearly that after 50, the life is essentially over really you can’t keep leaving to any living after 50.

So, I told myself since I was in the university and all my friends who are in University with me will tell you, I told them back then once I turned 50 I was leaving. It’s not just the fact that the Judiciary or the legal system is at best a sham; that’s not just the reason I had a personal desire to live by the time I turned 50 and it helped to say bye-bye.

In some way you lost hope in the judicial process?

I never had any hope in the Judiciary.

Why do you bow before the temple of justice?

It is one thing to read law to earn a living, to read law so that you also know what the law says or to read law in the delusion that you might get justice out of the judicial system that is not designed to deliver Justice.

I’m not suggesting that there are not instances where you can extract Justice out of the system, you would have episodic periods when Justice will be delivered either because the Judas himself has a conscience or because you were fortunate to have all the evidence stark in your favour and impossible for anyone to twist the outcome, but the reality is that the judiciary is hardly the last hope of the common man in our country, we must be bold enough to tell ourselves this truth.

How bad are things in the judiciary in Nigeria?

Horrible, our Judiciary is not different from our custom or our police or any other part of the Nigerian state. Why should we be surprised that the Judiciary reflects us? It is us; we are the ones who are there. So, it is either we are good enough as a people to do justice to ourselves or we are not. We should at least tell ourselves this home truth, the Judiciary is not staffed by people from Ghana, Togo or anywhere else, they are Nigerians like me and you bow into the same pressure, knowing the truth that me and you know that we sometimes find difficult to express for several reasons not only fear.

Why do you think things get so bad in the judiciary here?

Our situation is this; in the absence of the rule of law we have become a people governed essentially by the administration of impunity.

The policeman who is supposed to enforce the law in the absence of laws to enforce has to enforce some form of order and the other enforcement is based on the whim of the political masters itself so you find in essence that the policeman is administering impunity.

When he is done administering impunity somebody has to pretend to uphold the law and that is the Judiciary. But the Judiciary in question is people essentially by the likes of me and you and all the other Nigerians, the appointed process has already assured problems because it’s coming through the same filter that filters the same segments of society from which you and I are drawn.

A lawyer coming out of this system is nominated by those who are given the powers of nomination for judicial offices, it is no wonder that you sometimes find that the list of appointed judges is reflective of who is who in the Judiciary.

The judiciary has more or less become an hereditary position, found on who you know or who your parents are or your political affiliations, it’s become a way to settle persons who are children of the system. So, you then begin to get the bucasualization of our Judiciary.

Is that an English word?

Well we have to introduce it into our word, if we have a situation where a senator in his valedictory speech is telling us how decisions are made in our Judiciary and the man’s name happens to be bukachu as we might as well attribute it to him.

But the woman had denied. Don’t you agree?

She can deny anything, she cares to deny, as much as she care to deny, but when I’m seeing in this country are bizarre decision of courts that have no bearing on common sense, and it is normalized that’s coming from the chambers, and I’m supposed to find some level of explanation so that I might rationalize the insanity that has become normal in my space.

So, a man comes voluntarily and says what he said is not this, we don’t need to begin to interpret it, it’s not about 25 percent of this, he spoke unambiguously the man was clear.

What is the reaction within the LP on Festus Okoye’s view on the 2023 EU election report?

Since Okoye’s vituperation on your show I have not sat in any collective of the labour Party, but I will speak as a Nigerian of course one who worked within the labour party conclave and who has education of course to have to speak one or two persons.

I wasn’t in any way shape or form surprised by Festus Okoye’s vituperation in your chambers.
Vituperation are essentially outflows that do not flow from common sense and that is what the gentleman did in your chambers here.

Let me be very INEC, is a public body established by law bound to work according to the law.

INEC advertised its guidelines, told the world what the guidelines were going to be. The taste of the pudding is in the eating. The reality is that for a long time the Electoral process had been abandoned by Nigerians because they lack trust and confidence in the process.

So the advertisement of BVAS, IREV and everything were quite vociferous in explaining to Nigerians and reassuring us of what would happen with the system. To not have Festus Okoye sit down here and open his mouth, there must be a disconnect between the mouth and the brain box for him to offer anything short of an apology, an unreserved one to Nigerians for the utter failure supervised by INEC.

Let me say this; in a sane environment where people are still governed by reason the likes of Festus Okoye should either have resigned or be somewhere writing his statements explaining to Nigerians as to what happened. You say glitch, is it a glitch in the human brain, a glitch in the technical system or a glitch occasioned by the complete shutdown of human conscience?

When the person now comes here and he sits down and he begins to offer explanations that variance with common sense as has been attested to by anybody who observed this election or was here in this country; all the evidences are very clear and it shows very clearly that everything that you work on that day worked except INEC.

The Integrity of INEC as an institution went into exile. If a person who is now purporting to speak on behalf of such an organization, is so lacking in shame that he will sit down here and you even things that shouldn’t issue fault, I’m no longer practicing and I’m restrained in speaking to the case that is before the court.

Do you think that the BVAS worked that day?

Everything worked except INEC. I wasn’t just speaking to the election, I participated; I was at the polling unit as designated, the BVAS machine worked as much as it was allowed to work by human machinations.

Because in my own polling booth, the first said; some alphabets were not working, so they couldn’t accredit voters on time, we later realized that it was designed to frustrate some people into leaving, but people were determined to vote.

So, they waited until eventually in my place they allowed the BVAS machine to accredit those they had earlier left out. Voting did not end in my polling unit until about something in the evening and they did not finish counting until about 8:40 and counting stopped counting until about 1: 43 a.m that’s the following day.

Was it isolated in your areas or was it common where you have people?

It will be unfair to everybody concerned including myself for me to speak to what is outside my direct knowledge and participation. I am speaking to what I saw.

How many of those incidents you might find all over the country will be left to observers to say or speak to?

But on the day in question everything worked in my own space until it came to upload and then they could upload House of reps, they could upload Senate but the presidential election result was unable to upload.

From your mind, what do you think went wrong?

It is very clear what went wrong, INEC deliberately and I said this without any equivocation and with all sense of responsibility; INEC deliberately sabotaged the electoral process because it was working to a predetermined obnoxious and nauseous conclusion. Is not about the system failing, it’s about human beings electing on their own to sabotage the system.